Image: Dr. Brad Parkinson presenting to a National Academy of Sciences study group.
The FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act required the Department of Defense to contract with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to conduct “an independent technical review of the order and authorization adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on April 19, 2020 (FCC 20-48).”
This order authorized Ligado Networks LLC to operate a low-power terrestrial radio network adjacent to the Global Positioning System (GPS) frequency band.
According to the NASEM web site, the ad hoc committee they have gathered will consider:
(1) Which of the two prevailing proposed approaches to evaluating harmful interference concerns — one based on a signal-to-noise interference protection criterion and the other based on a device-by-device measurement of the GPS position error — most effectively mitigates risks of harmful interference with GPS services and DOD operations and activities.
(2) The potential for harmful interference from the proposed Ligado network to mobile satellite services including GPS and other commercial or DOD services including the potential to affect Department of Defense (DOD) operations, and activities.
(3) The feasibility, practicality, and effectiveness of the mitigation measures proposed in the FCC order with respect to DOD devices, operations, and activities.
The committee’s final report(s) will include the Academies findings and recommendations with respect to these issues as well as other related issues the study committee determines relevant.
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