Trimble (Nasdaq: TRMB) announced that it has received a contract from the U.S. Coast
Guard (USCG) to provide up to 400 reference station receivers over the next three years for its Maritime Differential GPS (DGPS) Service modernization program.
The USCG's Maritime DGPS Service provides navigation information for coastal areas, harbors and waterways in the continental U.S., the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, portions of Alaska, Hawaii, and a greater part of the Mississippi River Basin free-of-charge. As part of the DGPS system, the Trimble(R) NetRS(R) reference station receivers will provide accurate navigation correction messages that are broadcast to recreational boaters, commercial shipping and fishing fleets, workboats and cruise ships. In addition, surveyors, mapping and Geographic Information System (GIS) professionals, environmental consultants, police and emergency response vehicles, trucking fleets, aviators and in-car navigators with differential-ready GPS equipment are capable of receiving the USCG's broadcast signal, if they are located in established coverage areas. With DGPS, the USCG's beacon system meets the Federal Radionavigation Plan (FRP) accuracy requirements for Harbor/Harbor Approach (HHA) navigation and international Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirements.
The Coast Guard Maritime DGPS Service, operated by NAVCEN, consists of two control centers and over 85 remote broadcast sites. The service broadcasts correction signals on marine radiobeacon frequencies to improve the accuracy and integrity of GPS-derived positions. The Coast Guard DGPS Service is required to deliver 10 meter accuracy, but typically delivers accuracies of 1-3 meters in all established coverage areas. The modernized service is expected to provide even greater accuracies. Many foreign nations are implementing and modernizing standard DGPS services modeled after the U.S. Coast Guard
's system to significantly enhance maritime safety in their critical waterways.
As part of a multi-phased modernization project, the USCG also purchased 400 Trimble Zephyr Geodetic(TM) antennas in 2006 along with Trimble Charisma
(TM) software, which provides the backbone of their new DGPS radiobeacon