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View Full Version : Re: US Govt. ended GPS degredation (SA) yesterday!



Paul Treffner
05-02-2000, 04:00 PM
Colleagues,

Further to Jim Walton's alert, here's a bit more detail on
Mr. President's good news regarding GPS:



STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT REGARDING THE UNITED
STATES' DECISION TO STOP DEGRADING GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM ACCURACY
THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 1, 2000


STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT REGARDING
THE UNITED STATES? DECISION TO STOP DEGRADING
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM ACCURACY


Today, I am pleased to announce that the United States will stop the
intentional degradation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals
available to the public beginning at midnight tonight. We call this
degradation feature Selective Availability (SA). This will mean that
civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up to ten
times more accurately than they do now. GPS is a dual-use,
satellite-based system that provides accurate location and timing data
to users worldwide. My March 1996 Presidential Decision Directive
included in the goals for GPS to: ?encourage acceptance and
integration of GPS into peaceful civil, commercial and scientific
applications worldwide; and to encourage private sector investment in
and use of U.S. GPS technologies and services.? To meet these goals,
I committed the U.S. to discontinuing the use of SA by 2006 with an
annual assessment of its continued use beginning this year.

The decision to discontinue SA is the latest measure in an on-going
effort to make GPS more responsive to civil and commercial users
worldwide. Last year, Vice President Gore announced our plans to
modernize GPS by adding two new civilian signals to enhance the civil
and commercial service. This initiative is on-track and the budget
further advances modernization by incorporating some of the new
features on up to 18 additional satellites that are already awaiting
launch or are in production. We will continue to provide all of these
capabilities to worldwide users free of charge.

My decision to discontinue SA was based upon a recommendation by the
Secretary of Defence in coordination with the Departments of State,
Transportation, Commerce, the Director of Central Intelligence, and
other Executive Branch Departments and Agencies. They realized that
worldwide transportation safety, scientific, and commercial interests
could best be served by discontinuation of SA. Along with our
commitment to enhance GPS for peaceful applications, my administration
is committed to preserving fully the military utility of GPS. The
decision to discontinue SA is coupled with our continuing efforts to
upgrade the military utility of our systems that use GPS, and is
supported by threat assessments which conclude that setting SA to zero
at this time would have minimal impact on national security.
Additionally, we have demonstrated the capability to selectively deny
GPS signals on a regional basis when our national security is
threatened. This regional approach to denying navigation services is
consistent with the 1996 plan to discontinue the degradation of civil
and commercial GPS service globally through the SA technique.

Originally developed by the Department of Defence as a military
system, GPS has become a global utility. It benefits users around the
world in many different applications, including air, road, marine, and
rail navigation, telecommunications, emergency response, oil
exploration, mining, and many more. Civilian users will realize a
dramatic improvement in GPS accuracy with the discontinuation of SA.
For example, emergency teams responding to a cry for help can now
determine what side of the highway they must respond to, thereby
saving precious minutes. This increase in accuracy will allow new GPS
applications to emerge and continue to enhance the lives of people
around the world.
_________________________________________
Paul Treffner,
School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science
Griffith University
Gold Coast, PMB 50, QLD 9726
Australia. p.treffner@mailbox.gu.edu.au
Home: http://www.gu.edu.au/school/pes/ppages/ptreffner.html
Conf: http://www51.gu.edu.au/mc_conf/index.htm
Tel: +61 7 55 948215 Fax: +61 7 55 948674

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