DOT, Defense set plan to expand use of GPS

DOT, Defense set plan to expand use of GPS

The two departments seek 'a sensible transition to satellite-based navigation services as our primary means of navigation, while recognizing the need to maintain backup navigation aids.'
'TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY NORMAN Y. MINETA

The Transportation and Defense departments plan to strengthen the Global Positioning System to make it the nation's primary means of navigation.

The 2001 Federal Radionavigation Plan outlines strategies for GPS, Loran-C, and instrument and microwave landing systems.

The departments want to make the civilian and military systems work more smoothly, eliminate duplication and supply reliable, accurate transportation data.

Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said the department seeks 'a sensible transition to satellite-based navigation services as our primary means of navigation, while recognizing the need to maintain backup navigation aids.'

FAA will add more GPS signals for civilian use, said Michael Shaw, Transportation's director of radio and navigation. He said more signals will be added in 2003 and 2005. 'From the upgrade, we gain protection from disruption and get accurate signals,' Shaw said.

Last year, a study by the two departments said GPS navigation is vulnerable to atmospheric and communications equipment interference as well as deliberate disruption.

The new plan will expand the Maritime Differential GPS Service, used in coastal areas, to all surface users.
FAA will look at the long-term need for Loran-C, which supplies navigation, location and timing services to civilian and military air, land and marine users.

The planned improvements to GPS are expected to reduce pilots' reliance on instrument landing systems during poor visibility conditions.

FAA has halted development and installation of microwave landing systems in favor of GPS.

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