National Academies Press: OpenBook

The Global Positioning System: A Shared National Asset (1995)

Chapter: Executive Summary

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Suggested Citation:"Executive Summary." National Research Council. 1995. The Global Positioning System: A Shared National Asset. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4920.
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 Executive Summary In response to a request from Congress, a joint study on the Department of Defense's Global Positioning System (GPS) was conducted by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration. The National Academy of Sciences was asked to recommend technical improvements and augmentations that could enhance military, civilian, and commercial use of the system. The National Academy of Public Administration was asked to address GPS management and funding issues, including commercialization, governance, and international participation. To conduct its part of the study, the National Academy of Sciences established an expert committee, through the National Research Council (NRC), the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Specifically, the National Academy of Sciences was asked to address the following three technical questions: (1) Based on presentations by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the intelligence community on threats, countermeasures, and safeguards, what are the implications of such security-related safeguards and countermeasures for the various classes of civilian GPS users and for future management of GPS? In addition, are the Selective Availability and Anti-Spoofing capabilities of the GPS system meeting their intended purpose? (2) What augmentations and technical improvements to the GPS itself are feasible and could enhance military, civilian, and commercial use of the system? (3) In order to preserve and promote U.S. industry leadership in this field, how can communication, navigation, and computing technology be integrated to support and enhance the utility of GPS in all transportation sectors, in scientific and engineering applications beyond transportation, and in other civilian applications identified by the study in the context of national security considerations? In its interpretation of Task 1, the NRC committee decided not only to determine whether Selective Availability (SA) and Anti-Spoofing (A-S) were meeting their intended

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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that was originally designed for the U.S. military. However, the number of civilian GPS users now exceeds the military users, and many commercial markets have emerged. This book identifies technical improvements that would enhance military, civilian, and commercial use of the GPS. Several technical improvements are recommended that could be made to enhance the overall system performance.

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