Bill introduced on GPS backup system

Author:
Publish date:

In Washington, D.C.,Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Calif.), the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, introduced the bipartisan National Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Resilience and Security Act of 2015, H.R. 1678.

The bill would require the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Commandant of the Coast Guard and the Secretary of Transportation, to establish and sustain a reliable, land-based positioning and navigation system that will complement and backup America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) for military and civilian uses. It would take advantage of the government’s existing and underused long-range navigation system infrastructure, known as LORAN.

“GPS is much more than a LCD screen on your dashboard. It’s a technology used for much of our nation’s critical infrastructure and by almost every major industry in America, as well as the military, law enforcement, and first responders,” Garamendi said in a press release. “We are increasingly reliant on the precision, navigation, and timing services that GPS provides. From land navigation on cell phones to a timing source for our national infrastructure, we need a reliable backup system to GPS.”

The backup system required by H.R. 1678 would step in when GPS signals are corrupted, degraded, unreliable, or otherwise unavailable. It would take advantage of the government’s existing and underused long-range navigation system infrastructure. Unlike GPS, which relies on satellites, LORAN is ground-based, making it less susceptible to atmospheric interruption.

Our reliance on satellite based GPS signals for PNT data is a growing national economic and security liability because GPS signals can easily be jammed, spoofed, degraded or corrupted.