Doug Lung /
05.19.2011 03:25 PM
LightSquared GPS Interference Testing Underway in Nevada

The Federal Aviation Administrator has issued a Flight Advisory for LightSquared Testing at LAS (Las Vegas) and Flight Advisory for LightSquared Testing at BVU (Boulder City) from May 16 to May 27, 2011.

The Advisory notes testing will be conducted in 6 hour blocks and that "During testing the GPS signal may be unreliable or unavailable" within the affected areas. The FAA said, "Pilots are strongly encouraged to report anomalies during testing to the appropriate ARTCC to assist in the determination of the extent of GPS degradation during tests. Pilots reading this should check NOTAMs for specific areas and times of the tests."

Fierce Cable has more about the testing in Jim Barthold's article FAA's LightSquared tests have Nevadians worrying that the sky is falling. The article quotes Las Vegas police spokesman Bill Cassell saying that while Vegas public safety "might be a little inconvenienced... all of our officers know how to read a map."

The article Rep Raps LightSquared, FAA To Begin Interference Tests by Andrew Wood in AINonline reports Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chair of the House Armed Services Committee on Strategic Forces, "included a requirement in the forthcoming National Defense Authorization Act that Congress be notified of any widespread interference to GPS caused by a commercial communications service." Turner stated, "When it comes to GPS spectrum, government agencies must consult with the Defense Department on any effects."

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Posted by: Brian Smith
Thu, 05-19-2011 08:27 PM Report Comment
I doubt GPS avionics can meet the requirements of FAA/International certification within the Lightsquared electromagnetic environment. That will place FAA NexGen airspace on hold. The political compromise on this matter will be interesting.

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