Defense Science Board Task Force on The Future of the Global Positioning System

Status Report From: Department of Defense
Posted: Friday, December 2, 2005


Full report (pdf)


On April 9, 2004, the acting USD (AT&L) and the ASD (NII) jointly requested that the Defense Science Board undertake a Task Force on the future of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The request focused on the implications for GPS from a civil-commercial Galileo, the European Unionís proposed Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The Terms of Reference also requested assessment of several other aspects of GPS military and commercial competitiveness and of upgrade strategies and technical alternatives.

The DSB empanelled a Task Force comprised of GPS experts with extensive public and private sector experience. Deliberations on relevant GPS topics were conducted primarily among the Task Force members with outside briefings limited to current activities affecting the program itself and other directly relevant topics.

During the course of the year several outside events significantly modified the issues of uncertainty that had existed when the Task Force was formed. Those events included the signing of a cooperative agreement on GPS and Galileo between the United States and the European Union in June 2004, a major study on GPS commercial viability as approved by the Deputy Secretary of Defense in October 2004 and signature by the President of an updated national policy on GPS and related systems in December 2004. While each of these events moderated specific areas of uncertainty that had been complicating GPS planning, each is still a work in progress that will require monitoring as leadership moves to address the still substantive issues facing GPS operation and evolution.

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