GPS augmentation funding mixed
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- May 26, 2000
Most of the Transportation Department's funding requests for augmentations
to the Global Positioning System satellite navigation signal in 2001 survived
a House Appropriation Committee vote. But the Coast Guard's Nationwide Differential
GPS System was offered no funding for fiscal 2001.
On May 19, the committee approved $75 million for the Federal Aviation Administration's
Wide-Area Augmentation System and $31 million for its Local-Area Augmentation
System, NDGPS suffered for the second year in a row. It received $5 million
in fiscal 2000, half of the agency's request, and none of its $18.7 million
request for fiscal 2001.
GPS experts predicted that augmentations such as NDGPS would be deemed unnecessary
after the May 1 announcement to terminate selective availability, which
intentionally degraded the GPS signal offered to civilian users.
NDGPS is a nationwide network of transmitters that, combined with coastal
DGPS operated by the Coast Guard, will provide accuracy of less than a meter
99 percent of the time in the United States, Alaska and Hawaii. It also
verifies the integrity of the signal, which is necessary for public transportation
A Senate version of the DOT appropriations bill is pending.
The Defense Department's 2001 appropriations bill (S. 2593) passed a Senate
subcommittee with GPS funding at requested levels, including a new section
addressing civilian GPS needs.