BLOG EDITOR UPDATE: Our hat’s off to the folks at the USCG Navigation Center. Shortly after we posted the below bemoaning the lack of followup information – they posted followup information!
Seems that it WAS an equipment problem. Even better, the manufacturer admitted it AND issued a firmware update to fix it.
Just the kind of “closing the loop/ making things better” that we need from government and that we almost always see with the US Coast Guard. And especially the USCG NavCen.
We stand corrected, a bit abashed, and very happy to know these folks!
The USCG Navigation Center continues to receive and post reports of problems with GPS reception from around the world.
Our recent check of the site showed numerous reports from the eastern Mediterranean, as expected, along with a goodly number scattered around the United States.
One report was from Denmark, a place not often heard from. We thought it particularly interesting:
We observe pps (pulse per second)outages on several installations in Denmark, Iceland and Finland. The issue started around the 30 of July. Probably earlier but not that frequent. The number of outages have increased now and become severe. We observe 4 time windows during the day at which outages occur at all installations at most days since 30 of July: 03:04 – 04:06 07:37 – 07:49 18:23 – 18:53 21:08 – 21:30 (all times in UTC) The start time of the outages drifts by about 4 minutes at each day compared to the previous day.
Of course, since the Coast Guard couldn’t find any anomalies in the transmitted signal, they defaulted to “User Equipment” as their explanation of the event. Certainly possible, but it is interesting that this report is of a series of events with a definite pattern repeating in multiple locations.
We really like that the USCG is now posting these reports. It is very helpful for the community to understand what is going on in the world. Even more helpful would be if they could include a bit more of “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say.
Was it really user equipment? If so, what was the problem and how was it fixed? If not, what was the real problem and how did it get resolved?
There are a whole host of threats to GPS and ways to counter them. It would be good to know which are turning into disruptions and how folks are coping.