“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything.”*
So far, it has been the same with GPS/GNSS/PNT vunlerability and the need for a complementary and back up system.
Late last month “GPS World” published an item about two workshops on the topic, one in Canada and one in the US.
That same day we attended a workshop at NIST on “Timing Challenges in the Smart Grid” where we and others learned that timing is also very important and a challenge for today’s electrical grids.
The topic was also extensively discussed at the International Timing and Sync Forum in Prague and is an on-going topic at the annual Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems jointly hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the telecommunications industry standards group ATIS.
US National PNT Advisory Board has been on the record about the problem and solution since 2010.
Yet in spite of wide spread agreement, even within the US government, about the problem and its solution, no one has acted.
The president-elect has said that he wants $1 trillion invested in US infrastructure. Much of this would come from private investors.
Building a complementary and backup system for GPS can be just that kind of infrastructure project. Under a public private partnership, the US government could leverage more than $500M in private capital to build a system that would provide some services to everyone for free, while earning revenue from higher level and value-added services.
Would private investors be interested? Three companies made offers last year but were ignored by the current administration.
So far, on this topic, the US government has been all talk and no action.
Let’s hope we see better this coming year.
*Variously ascribed to Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner