Is the US GPS System at Risk?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011
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GPS

Did you know that the GPS system in the US could be a risk? The Coalition of Save Our GPS is concerned because the FCC recently issued a waiver for LightSquared to blanket the US with approximately 40,000 base stations to broadcast wireless broadband across the US.

The Coalition is concerned because the signal coming from the LightSquared satellite will be approximately 1,500 watts which could quickly drown out GPS satellite signals which hover in the 50 watt range. This could lead to deadspots around each tower that will be miles in diameter.

Reading through the coalition website, I’m realizing that it is a pretty technical problem and most goes over my head. On one hand I can’t imagine that the US army would allow anything to interfere with their technology but on the other hand the Coalition is made up of some pretty heavy hitters including:

Air Transport Association
Aircraft Electronics Association
Association of American Geographers
The Boat Owners Association of The United States
Caterpillar
Garmin
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
TomTom
UPS

You can find more info about it here. [Equipped to Surive]

Photo Credit: GPS / Flynn Kittie / CC BY-NC 2.0

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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