Letters to the Editor – December 2006

December 1, 2006  - By

Need Clear Vision

Well done on the editorial this month (“Skies Cloudy All Day,” October). I totally agree with you regarding the lack of clear vision for our GPS future. And I’m not saying there is not vision at the Air Force, but the GPS programs must be backed by the full Congress and its funding. We must put government funding behind that vision to make it a reality. When we as U.S. citizens say GPS is critical to our national security, and even our livelihood more and more each day, we must back that with the bucks to keep it healthy and strong as the utility that it has become.

Ellen Hall
President, Spirent Federal Systems Inc.

NDGPS Killer App

This is in response to the October 2006 letter “NDGPS Budget” by Tim Smith and the reply by Erik Gakstatter. There will be a killer application for NDGPS, for ground vehicles to know their position precisely to the meter, especially in the urban canyon setting where satellite reception can be very poor. This effort is spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). In addition, the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) consortium consists of several state agencies, automobile manufacturers, and vendors to implement vehicle-to-vehicle-to-roadside communications via Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC). The primary purpose is to enhance vehicle safety using communications for collision avoidance, signal violation warning, near instantaneous traffic information, and road hazard warnings. In this case accurate GPS positioning is very important and where NDGPS can fill the need. Secondary purposes are to provide a wide range of applications starting with local electronic signage, navigation aids, traveler information, electronic payments (fuel, parking, tollway), ramp metering, and a wide variety of potential consumer applications in the vehicle.

The article “Safe in Traffic” in the very same issue of GPS World describes the whole project and the use of GPS for ground vehicle transportation, but not the need for accurate GPS positioning which could be provided by NDGPS.

 – Neal W. Probert
President, ProbeStar Technical Systems

WAAS in the East

Could you please tell me when WAAS will be up and running in Eastern Canada?

 – Kenneth Lewis
Government of New Brunswick


Editor’s Reply: There have been some changes due to geostationary satellite repositioning. See the web page of the University of New Brunswick’s Wide Area Augmentation System Monitoring Station and the Federal Aviation Administration’s “New WAAS GEO Status as of 11/9/06” PDF file.

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