GPS World’s eighth annual Leadership Dinner took place during ION-GNSS in Portland, and was sponsored by Litton Consulting Group, Sigtem Technology, and JAVAD GNSS. Excerpts from some of the speakers’ remarks appear here, as well as photos from the “You Bet Your System” after-dinner game, the first GNSS Sweepstakes, a group exercise in probabilistic and equestrian studies.
■ Col. Robert Hessin, National Coordination Office for Space-Based PNT.
From my perspective, we have not communicated well enough at a national level a vision for the future of spectrum management and customer access to emerging wireless technologies. The bottom line is, had we planned in 2001 to go deliberately down this path with MSS spectrum, I’m confident we would have found a way to co-exist by 2014.
■ Col. Bernard Gruber, GPS Directorate.
The NPEF test conducted in April was robust and comprehensive, involving over 100 receivers from 24 organizations, spanning military, government, aviation, precision agriculture, automotive, and general use communities. The results demonstrated empirically that the LightSquared terrestrial signals in their original deployment plan interfered with all types of receivers tested. The military results were consistent with results obtained by commercial GPS industry organizations such as Trimble, Garmin, and John Deere through their own independently conducted tests.
We stand ready to work with the NTIA and LightSquared to complete additional testing on the newly proposed deployment plan and receiver filter designs. We are conducting additional tests of cellular and general navigation devices on the LightSquared “Lower 10” MHz terrestrial and handset signals. We are also prepared to test filters proposed as mitigations for high-precision GPS receivers when they become available. As General Shelton stated in his recent congressional testimony, AFSPC remains open to ideas on mitigation strategies that will ensure continued GPS service to billions of users worldwide.
■ Günter Heinrichs, IFEN GmbH.
We in Europe follow very closely — and not without worry — the situation with regard to LightSquared difficulties. It would be very shortsighted for us to say that this problem will not concern us in Europe. Because all of us eventually sit in the same boat. Galileo signals will also be affected by the LightSquared problem — and not only in the USA. Due to the worldwide scarce frequency resources, the times are past that one can look at an application for a certain frequency spectrum in isolation. Decision-makers must sharpen their awareness of the effects their decisions will have on the surroundings, worldwide. In the future, avoidance or minimization of such problems can only be managed by unity and increased coordination of the different responsible stakeholders. We live in a globalized world — this must be taken into account at all future decisions. An early cooperation and coordination between all parties involved at all levels will be essential — also across border.
■ Jim Litton, Litton Consulting.
I want to speak of my pride in our industry, which is confronted with a manmade threat from forces that have support from politically and financially powerful special interests. My former colleagues in NavCom and John Deere have been highly instrumental in this effort. In this crisis, with its unreasonable time-line demands, the industry has pulled together, and competitors have worked with each other to meet the threat with evidence-based, scientifically sound testing and analysis as opposed to the obfuscation, historical distortion, backdoor influence, and fact-denial seemingly characteristic of the ethics of hedge-fund operators. Even some in our industry who are ambivalent about the trade-offs between the integrity of legacy systems and opportunity for new sales have acted with propriety, openness, and respect for the truth. Millions have been spent, and program schedules delayed, to respond in this manner.
■ Greg Turetzky, CSR.
The basics of the problem are that the current rules in the FCC do not provide sufficient protection for GPS. Lightsquared is not the first group to go to the FCC and propose a change to the plan that meets the rules, but still degrades GPS performance. Remember UWB? If we don’t want to have to keep raising our hand and saying, “I know it follows the rules, but we are special,” we should work to change the rules. I would like to see our industry get together and propose any changes that are needed to the FCC. Let’s not forget that this is an international problem. As Tony Pratt reminded me, we could also take this to the ITU. The rules were created to protect one communication system from another. The rules we need would protect a below-the-noise navigation system from a high-power communication system.
■ Javad Ashjaee, JAVAD GNSS.
Spectrum is getting congested, and we cannot assume the luxury that we had can continue any longer. We should not be selfish and expect all others to stay away from us because their smell bothers us! Every GNSS receiver should put in a good filter so that others can coexist near us.
LightSquared is a very nice complement to GNSS. It can provide a nice communication channel for our RTK. If military receivers cannot tolerate LightSquared, how can they survive electronic warfare? If an enemy puts LightSquared-like transmitters in the theater of operation, our military equipment gets affected? Military units with P-code are more sensitive than JAVAD receivers that use encrypted P-code? Starting today, everything JAVAD GNSS ships will be LightSquared-hardened, or eligible for free upgrade later.
You Bet Your System
Over dessert and coffee, 150 VIP dinner guests played the ponies: six races, with horses from five GNSS racing stables.
Compass delegates Yuanxi Yang (China National Administration of GNSS and Applications) and colleague Jing Tang enjoyed the evening — and now plan a GNSS racing event in China — with Fang Sheng (Raytheon).