GNSS Forum: Seven Easy Ways the Administration or Congress Could Get a Quick Win Protecting GPS and America

Dana Goward
August 16, 2016

The U.S. Secretary of Defense has said “I hate GPS” and “I want to unplug the military from GPS.” Senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have called GPS “a single point of failure for critical infrastructure.”

GPS signals are used by virtually every technology. Their disruption for more than a brief period of time or over more than a small area could impact cell phone service, financial systems, computer networks, emergency radio systems, and every mode of transportation. It could be catastrophic for America.

A 2004 Presidential order revalidated in 2009 mandates creation of a complementary and backup system for GPS. In 2008 the Department of Homeland Security announced that they would transition the Loran-C system to enhanced Loran (eLoran) for this purpose.

This never happened.

In 2015 the deputy secretaries of defense and transportation told members of Congress that the administration would build an eLoran timing system first, and then a navigation system. Establishing the network would provide a high power difficult to disrupt system alongside GPS to deter malicious disruption and ensure essential navigation and timing signals were always available to America.

Action on the most recent commitment has been slow.

Here are seven easy ways our leaders can act now and make us much, much, safer:

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