Image: National Assn. of Broadcasters
What’s New: More information about how TV broadcasts could be used to provide PNT independent of GPS. We have posted about this before. The article excerpted below provides an updated description.
Why It’s Important: Having more options, especially those that use existing infrastructure, can be important if the government ever decides to protect the nation from our “single point of failure” (the government’s words) because of our over-dependence on GPS.
Things to Know:
- Many government budgeteers and bureaucrats understand “redundant” differently than do engineers. The first group sees opportunities to cut systems and budgets. The other sees opportunities to protect systems and users.
- Props to RNT Foundation member Pat Diamond featured in the below article!
China and Russia have back-up GPS systems. The USA has no GPS backup, although politicians have been talking about the need for 20 years. ATSC 3.0 stations have the hardware in place to provide nationwide backup. The US Department of Transportation is responsible for GPS. If The Office of Transportation Policy (TRA/OTP) develops and coordinates an ATSC 3.0 GPS backup policy, work and funding can begin. With planning and coordination, ATSC 3.0 broadcasters are positioned to be the future GPS backup in the USA.
If GPS stops, the USA stops. Virtually everything digital requires a GPS time stamp, from credit card transactions and power generation to radio and TV transmitter exciters. Specifically at risk to GPS failure is critical infrastructure such as the energy and power grid, communications, financial transactions, transportation including aviation, maritime, rail, surface, and pipeline, first responders, chemical, dams, information technology, critical defense manufacturing, healthcare and public health, food, and agriculture. It’s a crucial national issue that can go hypercritical in the blink of an eye. US TV broadcasters are in the best possible position to quickly become the GPS backup plan.