Congress is considering appropriations for fiscal year 2020 which begins the first of October of this year. There are two minor, but important items that must be funded to keep GPS the gold standard for GNSS, and to protect its signals and users.
First is the $15M requested in the President’s budget for monitoring GPS’s civil signal. This will complete the project to incorporate monitoring and reporting into the new OCX ground control segment and is essential to GPS’ and America’s credibility.
Second, is funding to establish the terrestrial backup timing signal mandated by the National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018. The Congress passed a law last year mandating the system be operational by 2020, but it also said the Department of Transportation can’t act until funds were appropriated. So now its time to make the funds available. This is important to GPS users as, when combined with signals from space, a high power terrestrial signal will make timing users much more resilient, some would say “bullet proof,” to jamming and spoofing. Also, knowing that the terrestrial signal is there will likely deter some malicious actors who might otherwise disrupt GPS.
We are writing to selected members of Congress to let them know our concerns. As examples, here are the letters we wrote to Chairman Price in the House and Sen. Reed in the Senate. We sent similar letters to the members listed below.
Please consider making your views known to your Senators and Representatives!
Hon. Susan Collins: Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development
Hon. Jack Reed: Ranking, Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development; Ranking, Armed Services Committee
Hon. Joni Ernst: Chair, Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; GPS Caucus
Hon. Ted Cruz: Chair, Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation and Space; Co-Sponsor National Timing Resilience & Security Act of 2018
Hon. Roy Blunt: Appropriations Committee; Commerce, Science & Technology Committee
Hon. Edward Markey: Ranking, Commerce Subcommittee on Security; Co-Sponsor National Timing Resilience & Security Act of 2018
Hon. Tammy Duckworth: Ranking, Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety; Armed Services Committee; GPS Caucus
Hon. Christopher Murphy: Appropriations Committee
House of Representatives
Hon. David Price: Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
Hon. Mario Diaz Balart: Ranking, Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
Hon. Peter DeFazio: Chair, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
Hon. John Garamendi: Chair, Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness; Transportation & Infrastructure Committee