U.S., Europe squabble over GPS spectrum

Some of the world's brightest technical minds will do battle this week over 2MHz worth of electromagnetic spectrum.

United States and European Union representatives will discuss how to keep Europe's planned Galileo Satellite Navigation System, set for a 2008 launch, from interfering with the Defense Department's Global Positioning System.

DOD and NATO have argued that Galileo signals cannot be jammed in battle regions without degrading GPS military signals.

The United States has proposed that Galileo use binary-offset-carrier 1,1 signals confined to 4MHz of spectrum centered at 1,575.42MHz. The European Union wants BOC 1.5,1.5 signals that stretch across 6MHz.

U.S. officials who will participate in the talks have contended that jamming a BOC 1.5,1.5 signal would cause the GPS military signal in that same band, known as M-code, to suffer 50 percent more degradation than denying BOC 1,1 signals.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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