LightSquared Outlines Plan to Avoid GPS Interference

press release
Friday, October 21, 2011

Marine electronics industry still has major concerns.


An official of LightSquared, the company that has been under fire for its plan to offer mobile satellite services that could seriously interfere with Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, told a gathering at the 2011 NMEA International Marine Electronics Conference & Expo that solutions were in the works to prevent disruptions from occurring.

 

“Our integrated network will bring great benefits to wireless users nationwide, but at the same time we’re committed to ensuring this service doesn’t interfere with any GPS devices. We’re eager to work through any issues,” said Geoffrey Stearn, LightSquared’s vice president of spectrum development. He made his remarks at a meeting of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System Task Force on September 28 in Fort Myers, Florida. The meeting was part of the National Marine Electronics Association’s (NMEA) annual four-day conference and expo.

 

Stearn accepted NMEA’s invitation to appear at the meeting to discuss the company’s plan to offer mobile satellite services from a frequency band next to that set aside for GPS. FCC-ordered tests conducted in April confirmed concerns that the high-powered LightSquared transmissions would significantly compromise GPS signals. Although the LightSquared frequencies don’t overlap with those allocated for the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which includes GPS, they are immediately adjacent. In radio transmissions such as these, there are always emissions that stray out of the allocated band and intrude on neighboring frequencies. The fear is that LightSquared’s transmissions would drown out GNSS signals because they are far more powerful.

 

Stearn told the task force, ”It was a surprise to us that there would be a [GPS] receiver overload.” He added that, based on data the company has collected, “We’re offering mitigation steps that we believe will solve the issue and will ensure our operation will be compatible with people’s continued use of GPS.” LightSquared has proposed the use of filters in GPS receivers along with power levels that the company says won’t interfere with GPS. It also agreed not to operate in a 23MHz band immediately adjacent to the GPS band, at least for now. “We still have licensed rights to the upper band channel,” Stearn said. “We’re not giving it up, but gave control to the FCC. We won’t operate there until the FCC says it’s okay.”

 

Several people who attended the LightSquared session expressed concerns later that the 23MHz guard band is temporary and that the company will eventually want to use the entire band, maybe at full strength. In addition, although GPS manufacturer Javad GNSS has developed a filter design that may take care of the problem, electronics experts said the design needed to be thoroughly tested by the industry. Bethel Marine Electronics owner Jules Rutstein expressed several concerns. “First of all is the contribution to the noise floor by these transmitters and their effect on GPS and other low-power reception devices. And, secondly, because of the type of transmission and the method used by GPS receivers, the problem will manifest itself as an intermittent problem.

 

“I believe that what we will see as a complaint from our customers will be a lost signal, and we will not be able to determine why the customer’s chart plotter occasionally will lose its fix. Intermittent problems by nature are more insidious, and since we will not be able to determine the source, it will be that much more difficult. Since the source of the problem may or may not be a function of its location, it may be just the wrong time.

 

“LightSquared has offered two solutions—one being filters and the other adding a 23Mhz isolation band to the frequency spectrum utilized. The filter is unlikely to be a good fix since it must be installed at the receiver, which may affect performance and on most installations will be impossible to implement. The other solution is the 23Mhz protection band. This will help somewhat, but fieldtesting will have to be done to validate effectiveness. They also mentioned power changes but did not answer the question as to how much and where. I personally feel that this project is being fast-tracked through the system and needs time for its impact to be evaluated.”

 

“This is an extremely important issue for our members as well as for anyone who relies on GPS, which is just about everyone,” said Bruce Angus, NMEA interim executive director. “We thank Geoff Stearn for coming to the conference and expo to discuss the problem and LightSquared for its commitment to avoiding disruption of the GPS system. We’ll be watching the resolution of this potential problem very closely.”

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Henderson, Hanes & Associates Opens Doors in Miami

Ocean Engineering/ Naval Architecture Firm Brings Innovation to the Mega Yacht Community The Miami-based ocean engineering and naval architecture firm of Henderson & Associates, Inc.

DOF Installer Sells Offshore Vessel

DOF Subsea AS subsidiary, DOF Installer ASA, reported the sale of one of its three sister ships, an anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel, to an international buyer.

Scanjet Secures 30-ship Tank Management Order

Scanjet Group has followed up its Tank Management order from Stolt-Nielsen with a series of contracts for its ITAMA Intelligent Tank Management concept including Tankcleaning,

Technology

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

BCG Upgrades Virtual GMDSS Simulator

Buffalo Computer Graphics (BCG) Inc. released an updated version of its Virtual Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (VGMDSS) Simulation software. BCG’s VGMDSS

Australia, US Order Anti-ship Missile Decoys

Design of the next generation of anti-ship missile decoys is set to commence following the signing of two contracts between the Australian Defense Force and BAE Systems Australia Pty Ltd.

Marine Electronics

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

MOL Merges Group Companies; Upgrades Bridge Simulator

MOL adds DPS and enhances safe operation by integrating expertise through merger Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced the merger of MOL Marine Consulting, Ltd.

General Dynamics takes Rudy deLeon on Board

The board of directors of General Dynamics has elected Rudy deLeon to be a director of the corporation, effective September 30, 2014. DeLeon is a senior

Maritime Security

Austal Launches Trenton (JHSV 5)

Second Joint High Speed Vessel to be launched at Austal in 2014 On September 30, 2014, Austal USA successfully completed the launch process of Trenton (JHSV

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

Australia, US Order Anti-ship Missile Decoys

Design of the next generation of anti-ship missile decoys is set to commence following the signing of two contracts between the Australian Defense Force and BAE Systems Australia Pty Ltd.

Marine Equipment

Water-cooled WGM Motors From WEG

WEG, a supplier of drive technology, introduced its water-cooled WGM motors to the shipbuilding industry for the first time at SMM 2014. The WGM water-cooled induction motors are compact,

Livorsi Launches New Throttle Lineup

Livorsi Marine introduced the all new Platinum Series throttles, which they say are designed to be more ergonomically comfortable to the operator while being lighter

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

Maritime Safety

US Aircraft Carrier Crew Rescues Fishermen

Sailors and Marines aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) assisted two fishermen aboard a fishing vessel engulfed in flames off the east coast of Florida, Sept.

NAVTOR, AWT Agreement Marks Next Step in E-navigation

NAVTOR has signed an agreement with maritime weather routing specialist Applied Weather Technology (AWT) that will see the two companies integrating their services

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2112 sec (5 req/sec)