GPS interference?


Lately a coalition of GPS companies and user groups called Coalition to Save Our GPS (CSOG) has formed to protect GPS signals from the possibility of interference from a wireless Internet access company called LightSquared. The wireless firm has plans to deploy a reported 40,000 ground stations that will transmit on a frequency adjacent to that used by GPS. According to CSOG, the LightSquared signals will be “one billion times more powerful than GPS signals as received on Earth.”
    The fear for marine GPS users is that the LightSquared service will interfere with GPS signals in harbor or coastal situations. Once offshore, mariners will be free from interference as there will be no LightSquared stations within range. Of course, it’s the harbor and coastal situations where you want the best GPS coverage since that’s where the hard stuff is.
    Some members of CSOG include: Garmin, Trimble, the International Air Transport Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Caterpillar Diesel, and a host more.
    CSOG states emphatically that the LightSquared system represents a great potential danger to GPS, but so far, this conclusion is based on preliminary lab testing. More real world testing is clearly needed before the LightSquared system should be allowed to go forward. That seems prudent to avoid the possibility of 40,000 coverage holes, one of which just may include your harbor or favorite stretch of coast. 

By Ocean Navigator