Notes from DoT GPS Backup Demos – Part I
Government officials, advisers, and congressional staff gathered at NASA’s Langley Research Center on Friday, March 13. They were there to discuss the Department of Transportation’s (DoT’s) GPS Backup Technology Demonstration program and view the offerings of six different companies. A second event to view and discuss technologies offered by the other five companies in the program is scheduled (as of this writing) for Friday, March 20, at Joint Base Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
View from Washington, D.C.
The day began with remarks by Karen Van Dyke from the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as remarks prepared by Colonel Joseph Frankino, deputy director of the National Coordination Office, a multi-agency staff that supports the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee, whose members were unable to attend. Van Dyke provided an overview of the program and pointed out the increasing importance of resilient PNT. As just one example, improvements in autonomy and self-driving cars are entirely dependent upon consumers having confidence in the entire system, much of which is underpinned by PNT. Col. Frankino’s remarks reflected the Defense Department’s commitment to and support of DoT’s resilient PNT efforts. He pointed out that the nation’s military depends upon the defense industrial base, which depends upon uninterrupted PNT.
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