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DOT conducts GPS backup study

April 14, 2017  - By
Image: GPS World

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is studying responses to its November 2016 request for information concerning back-up systems for GPS. DoT is investigating possibilities and practicalities of using one or more positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies to ensure PNT resiliency for critical infrastructure in the event of a temporary disruption in GPS availability.

The filing period closed Jan. 30.

RFI Response

Several companies responded to the RFI. Statements from Satelles, NextNav, NovAtel, Allied Partners, Harris, UrsaNav, and Orolia dba Spectracom were not made public because they “contain confidential business information data.”

Statements are available at the web page from Oakridge National Laboratory, UrsaNav and iPosi, SAE International, the GPS Innovation Alliance and Locata Corporation, which made its response openly available “to kick off the necessary public discussion.”

Senate Inquiry

At a Feb. 8 Commerce Committee hearing, Sen. Roy Blunt asked DoT Inspector General Calvin Scovel about progress on GPS back-up, which DoT and the Deputy Secretary of Defense announced they would “be working on” in 2015. Scovel responded with information about the Federal Aviation Administration’s next-gen plan, which did not address the question.

Sen. Blunt then asked Scovel to submit a written answer for entry into the final record of the hearing: “My question for the record will be that this commitment made in 2015 concerned about the current dependency that so many people have with GPS, is ‘Are they moving forward with a backup system if the current GPS system goes down?”