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


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Suggested Citation:"JOINT STUDY APPROACH." National Research Council. 1995. The Global Positioning System: A Shared National Asset. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4920.
Page 14

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INTRODUCTION 14 scientific and engineering applications beyond transportation, and in other civilian applications identified by the study in the context of national security considerations? NAPA was asked to address the following four questions related to future GPS management and funding: (1) How should the GPS program be structured and managed to maximize its dual utility for civilian and military purposes? (2) How should the GPS program/infrastructure be funded to assure consistent, sustainable, and reliable services to civilian and military users around the world? In consideration of its worldwide user community, are there equitable cost-recovery mechanisms that may be implemented to make the GPS program partially or fully self-supporting without compromising U.S. security or international competitive interests? (3) Is commercialization or privatization of all or parts of the GPS consistent with U.S. security, safety, and economic interests? (4) Is international participation in the management, operation, and financing of GPS consistent with U.S. security and economic interests? JOINT STUDY APPROACH Both the National Academy of Sciences and NAPA are chartered by Congress and conduct studies for the government on issues of national and international importance. National Academy of Sciences studies, which are carried out under the auspices of the National Research Council (NRC), are generally focused on scientific and engineering issues, and NAPA studies are generally focused on management issues. Because Congress was interested in a GPS study that covered both technical and management issues, a joint study was requested in the 1994 Defense Authorization Act. Because each academy operates differently, the NRC and NAPA portions of the study followed different schedules with different report-writing procedures. Nevertheless, the NRC and NAPA staffs worked closely together throughout the study, drafting joint outlines, exchanging information, attending both the NRC committee and NAPA panel meetings, and meeting frequently to work out details of the joint report. The NRC's peer-review process applied only to the portions of the joint report authored by the NRC committee. The NRC technical portion of the study began in June 1994 and entered peer review in February 1995. The NAPA management and funding portion began in August 1994 and entered review in March 1995. In May 1995, both reports were combined to form a single document, and the final joint report was delivered to Congress in May 1995.

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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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