By Rick Hamilton, CGSIC Executive Secretariat, U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center
The 59th meeting of the U.S. Civil GPS Service Interface Committee was held Sept. 16-17 at the Hyatt Regency Miami hotel in Miami, Florida, in conjunction with the Institute of Navigation’s GNSS+ (ION-GNSS+) conference.
For readers who were unable to attend, a synopsis of the meeting is provided below. The full agenda and presentations are available for download from the GPS.gov website.
The meeting of the CGSIC is an annual event, free and open to the public, conducted to provide updates from U.S. GPS program officials and ensure effective information exchange between the U.S. government and civil GPS users.
The two-day meeting is hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN). DOT serves as the civil lead for GPS and chairs the CGSIC in this capacity. NAVCEN is assigned duties as Deputy Chair and Executive Secretariat for the CGSIC.
Engaging sessions were conducted throughout the day of Sept. 16 for the CGSIC Timing, Surveying Mapping and Geo-Sciences, and International Information Subcommittees. The plenary session of the full committee was held on Sept. 17.
Keynote. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, deputy assistant secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, U.S. Department of Transportation provided the keynote for this year’s plenary session.
She conveyed to the audience the importance of the U.S. GPS for transportation safety and numerous other civil applications and that its spectrum must be protected from harmful interference.
However, given threats from jamming and spoofing, the U.S. is committed to leading the world in positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) and to building and using the best possible PNT solutions to maintain resiliency.
James Platt, director at the PNT Program Management Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, highlighted the need to understand cyber vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure supply-chain management.
The meeting included many other interesting briefings related to the status of the U.S. GPS program and the use of GPS around the world, including presentations from the National Space-Based PNT Coordination Office, U.S. Air Force, State Dept., FAA, DOC and NASA.
Presentations during the plenary session focused on the operational status of the GPS constellation and ground control system modernization, U.S. Space-Based PNT policy, GPS augmentation systems, U.S. engagement with other international GNSS providers, as well as a variety of topics related to the status and progress of ongoing GPS programs in the U.S. government.
If you have suggestions for topics to include in upcoming CGSIC meetings, would like to present a topic, or if you found information from past meetings useful and would like to hear more, contact Hamilton via the Navigation Center “contact us” form. Be sure to select “Civil GPS Service Interface Committee (CGSIC)” from the pull-down menu.
From a GPS operational perspective, civilian non-aviation users can submit GPS-related inquiries or report signal interference or degradation to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center online or to the 24 hour watch desk at 703-313-5900.
Civil aviation users within the United States should contact the Federal Aviation Administration for GPS user support. The GPS Operations Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, is the lead in the Department of Defense for operational issues and questions from military users of GPS.