U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater
and South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson joined with Admiral James M. Loy, Commandant of the USCG, to officially switch on the latest satellite-based positioning technology, a federally required system that will benefit all 50 states as well as private industry.
The ceremony marked the official availability of the Maritime Differential Global Positioning System (MDGPS) and its expansion into the Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS), which will extend the technology's benefits to all modes of the nation's transportation systems.
The Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) provides a significant advance in the application of satellite technology. By providing more precise positioning information, DGPS will
enable faster emergency response and more efficient movement of people and goods.
The Secretary noted the USCG took a theory out of the laboratory and brought it to reality through team efforts. The USCG worked closely with other modes from the Department of Transportation, as well as with other government agencies and private industry, to develop and implement MDGPS and NDGPS.
Both of the systems function as enabling technologies to navigation, safety and transportation management. Since they provide more precise position identification, they reduce emergency response times on both sea and land. In addition:
· Being uniformly constructed and conforming to international standards, they can be economically applied across many components of America's commercial and essential-service sectors.
· The USCG can more accurately and economically place and maintain its 50,000 navigational aids.
· The USACE can increase its surveying and dredging productivity - it already is reporting a 500 percent increase in both categories.