Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rep. Hall: GPS a vital national interest

Opening statement from Ralph Hall (R-TX), Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

September 8, 2011

Good afternoon. Welcome to today’s hearing titled “Impacts of the LightSquared Network on Federal Science Activities.The United States is the clear leader in precision, navigation, and timing because of its consistent investment in the Global Positioning System. This investment has been protected and reaffirmed by successive Administrations’ support, which has led to one of the greatest technological achievements this nation has ever created. It is one that both government and industry can be proud of and is the gold standard for billions of people around the world. While it is nearly impossible to quantify the exact impact GPS has had on society, it has certainly had an enormous impact on economic productivity, furthered scientific understanding, and modernized our national defense. Some recent reports estimate GPS enables over $3 trillion in direct and indirect economic activity and has created over three million jobs – a fact that should not be overlooked with the President preparing to speak before Congress in a few short hours on the state of our economy.

In addition to its economic significance, the Global Positioning System is also an important aspect of many federal operations and scientific activities. Aerial and satellite imagery, weather forecasting, climate observation, search and rescue, air traffic management, rail transportation, traffic management, vessel navigation, emergency response and mapping, time distribution, seismic monitoring, land surveys, resource management, agriculture, engineering and scientific observations all depend upon GPS. Any potential disruption to GPS, and the science activities that it supports, is of utmost concern to this Committee.
LightSquared has proposed a network to support the President’s challenge to identify 500 megahertz of new spectrum for broadband service. While the President’s goal is certainly commendable, it should not be accomplished by destroying existing systems and applications.

As the President’s own National Space Policy states, the United States must “maintain its leadership in the service, provision, and use of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS),” and “[i]nvest in domestic capabilities and support international activities to detect, mitigate, and increase resiliency to harmful interference to GPS.”

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the potential impact of the LightSquared network on Federal science activities. In doing so, we hope to ensure that all of the affected agencies are aware of the potential issues, have communicated those concerns effectively, are identifying potential mitigation strategies, and are calculating the costs associated with those mitigation strategies. In preparing for this hearing, we have seen varying degrees of preparation by agencies. Some have done the expected due diligence and some clearly have not.

Although the FCC has stated that it will not allow LightSquared to begin commercial service without first resolving the interference issue, nothing actually prevents the FCC from moving forward at this point. Since the testing that was conducted this spring and summer, LightSquared has put forth a modified plan. Unfortunately, no testing has been done on this modified plan. I agree with the agencies before us today that additional testing should be required before the FCC allows LightSquared to begin commercial service.

Ensuring that GPS is protected is a vital national interest. Its economic impact is clear, and its utility to science is unquestionable, but what is also important is the real impact on lives. Last month the FAA announced that LightSquared’s previous proposal would result in billions of dollars of investment lost, a decade of delays to ongoing projects, a cost impact of roughly $72 billion, and almost 800 additional fatalities – and that is just one Administration. Compromises to GPS would also benefit foreign systems and threaten U.S. leadership. As we have recently seen, dependence on Russia for access to the International Space Station has already compromised U.S. interests. Reliance on Russia’s GLONASS system, China’s COMPASS system, or Europe’s GALILEO system for precision, navigation, and timing would be just as costly.

We have to find a way to open up more spectrum for broadband, but not at the expense of GPS.

This is, however, a two way street. GPS users and agencies also have to be mindful that developing applications outside of their spectrum is dangerous and ripe for conflict, even though previous there were no problems.
_______________________________

And if that wasn't compelling, consider these...

HR 2596. Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act
Committee Report 112-169:
Spectrum interference issues.—The Committee is aware that NTIA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are in the midst of a regulatory process with respect to the Global Positioning System and that a technical working group is reviewing potential interference issues. NTIA is directed to report to the Committee following completion of the technical working group activities, but no later than August 1, 2011, regarding the discoveries of this technical working group and the scientific steps necessary to address any potential interference concerns.

HR 2434. Financial Service Appropriations Act
Section 633
None of the funds made available in this Act may be used by the Federal Communications Commission to remove the conditions imposed on commercial terrestrial operations in the Order and Authorization adopted by the Commission on January 26, 2011 (DA 11-133), or otherwise permit such operations, until the Commission has resolved concerns of potential widespread harmful interference by such commercial terrestrial operations to commercially available Global Positioning System devices.
Committee Report 112-136:
The Committee is aware of concerns related to possible interference to Global Positioning System (GPS) devices due to terrestrial broadband service. The Committee remains engaged on this issue and awaits the final report by the Technical Working Group.

HR 1540. National Defense Authorization Act, 2012
Committee Report 112-78:
The committee is aware that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a conditional order to a commercial communications company on January 26, 2011, authorizing it to provide broadband voice and data communications services that potentially interfere with GPS. The committee recognizes that the Armed Forces are highly dependent on GPS capabilities and services. The committee believes that any space-based or terrestrial-based commercial communications service that has the potential to interfere with GPS should not receive final authorization to provide service within the United States by the FCC unless and until the potential interference with GPS is resolved. Such commercial services are planned to be transmitted from 40,000 land-based towers across the United States. The committee understands, based on information received from the Air Force, that the signal strength of such service is estimated to be one billion times more powerful than the GPS signal. Though the commercial service would broadcast on a frequency adjacent to GPS, it may still overwhelm GPS receivers, potentially causing a denial of service for millions of users in the United States relying on GPS navigation and timing services. Such users included the military, emergency responders, maritime and aeronautical emergency communication systems, banking transactions, air traffic and ground transportation systems, and myriad commercial applications. The committee understands that the Deputy Secretary of Defense sent a letter to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on January 12, 2011, highlighting the "strong potential for interference to . . . critical national security systems," and "strongly recommend[ing] deferral of final action on [the FCC order and authorization] until the proper interference analysis and mitigation studies can be conducted."

HR 2112. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Committee Report 112-101:
GPS Interference.—The Committee recognizes that the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) is critical to USDA‘s mission, including natural resource monitoring, forest firefighting, law enforcement, and research. In addition, precision agriculture would not be possible without GPS. It is estimated that U.S. farmers and ranchers have invested more than $3 billion in GPS technologies.

The Committee is aware of a decision by the Federal Communications Commission that may disrupt the use of GPS, causing significant problems for USDA and our Nation‘s farmers and ranchers. The Committee directs USDA to ensure the FCC is aware of these concerns and to work with other Federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation, to address them.

1 comment:

  1. Almost forgot...:

    European Commission
    On July 19, 2011, the head of the European Commission‘s Directorate General for Enterprise and
    Industry, Heinz Zourek, the agency that oversees all operations of the Galileo program, has filed an official comment with the FCC regarding the proposed LightSquared network. The Commission expressed grave concern over interference with GPS and the future European Galileo satellite navigation system. The filing states: “I am writing to express our deep concerns about the LightSquared system that is proposed for operation in frequencies immediately below the radionavigation-satellite service (RNSS) allocation at 1559-161OMHz.

    This band is the core band used by global satellite navigation systems including GPS and you are no doubt aware that Europe is at the advanced planning stage for its own system, Galileo, which will be operational by 2014/15, and that will also use this RNSS allocation. The LightSquared proposal for a terrestrial network deployment in MSS spectrum would completely change the nature of radio transmissions in the band.”

    EUMETSAT
    The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is an intergovernmental organization to establish, maintain and exploit European systems of operational meteorological satellites.

    On July 26, 2011, EUMETSAT filed a comment with the FCC in response to the LightSquared proposal. The filing stated: “In reviewing the results and conclusions of the Technical Working Group Report regarding space-based GPS receivers in section 3.5 of the report, EUMETSAT shares the concerns expressed by NASA, that interference to space-based GPS receivers used for Radio Occultation (RO) would be severely disruptive also to the GRAS instrument on Metop.”

    “Furthermore, the initial assessment of interference mitigation options have shown that even a restriction of the LightSquared operations to the lower 10 MHz channel would not mitigate the amount of interference to an acceptable level. Thus, EUMETSAT supports the view of NASA that the only mitigation technique which would resolve interference to space-based GPS receivers used for Radio Occultation is to relocate high power terrestrial operations to a different frequency band.”

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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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