Image: US Department of Defense

Blog Editor’ s Note: Most of our potential comments are already in the below article. Though somehow “get the bullseye off  GPS” didn’t make it in. 🙂


Could a GPS 9/11 Happen?

More industry experts are calling for backups to the Global Positioning System as the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks recently passed.  This week, in an interview with a San Francisco television station, both former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, industry expert Dana Goward and others said a major disaster could be on the horizon if GPS is not protected.

Goward, who is president of the Resilient Navigation & Timing Foundation, doesn’t think the U.S. government is doing enough to protect GPS’ signal and satellites.  “Absolutely not.  Twenty years ago, a government report issued just before 9-11 that called for a series of measures to protect GPS frequencies, toughen receivers, and provide alternate sources of timing and location information,” he said.  “These have never been seriously acted upon.”

In fact, Goward believes that the situation today is worse than it was in September 2001.  “Over the last two decades, the FCC has significantly reduced its enforcement staff and its ability to detect and deter disruptions,” he said. “The FCC decision in the Ligado Networks case has, according to the executive branch, authorized substantial interference with GPS signals for many users. And in 2010 when the Loran navigation and timing system was shutdown, instead of being upgraded as promised, we lost the only widely and publicly available alternative system.”