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The White House Briefing Room


March 30, 1998

VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES ENHANCEMENTS TO THE GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM THAT WILL BENEFIT CIVILIAN USERS WORLDWIDE

Message Creation Date was at 30-MAR-1998 11:14:00
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
__________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release     Contact:
Monday, March 30, 1998     (202) 456-7035
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES ENHANCEMENTS TO THE GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM 
THAT WILL BENEFIT CIVILIAN USERS WORLDWIDE
 Washington DC--Vice President Gore today announced that a second civilian 
signal will be provided by the U.S. Global Positioning System.
  &This new civilian signal will mean significant improvements in navigation, 
positioning and timing services to millions of users worldwide--from 
backpackers and fishermen to farmers, airline pilots, and scientists,8 the 
Vice President said.
 The addition of a second civil signal represents a strong commitment by the 
United States to civil GPS users worldwide and is a major step in the evolution 
of GPS as a global information utility.  Much like the Internet, GPS is 
becoming increasingly indispensable for navigation, positioning, and timing by 
users around the world.  Also like the Internet, GPS has become an engine of 
economic growth and efficiency as businesses and consumers continue to develop 
new and creative applications of this technology.
 The addition of a second frequency will greatly enhance the accuracy, 
reliability and robustness of civilian GPS receivers by enabling them to make 
more effective corrections for the distorting effects of the Earth,s 
atmosphere on the signals from space.  GPS has always provided signals on two 
frequencies for military users for this purpose.  Today,s announcement marks a 
new era in which civilians will have access to the same type of capability.
 &The decision announced today demonstrates that we can successfully balance 
the needs of civilian users with the demands of national security,8 Vice 
President Gore said.  &GPS civil signals are, and will continue to be, 
provided free of charge to consumers, businesses, and scientists around the 
world.  We will continue to do everything we can to protect these GPS signals 
and to promote GPS applications for commercial, public safety, and national 
security purposes.8
 The addition of a second civil signal has been recommended by a number of 
expert panels, the most recent of which was the White House Commission on 
Aviation Safety and Security, chaired by the Vice President.  Today,s 
announcement fulfills a pledge made last March by the Departments of Defense 
and Transportation to reach a decision on a second civil frequency within a 
year.  The Departments of Defense and Transportation co-chair an Interagency 
GPS Executive Board, created by President Clinton in 1996 to manage GPS and its 
U.S. government augmentations.
###
&This new civilian signal will mean significant improvements in navigation, 
positioning and timing services to millions of users worldwide--from 
backpackers and fishermen to farmers, airline pilots, and scientists,8 Vice 
President Gore said.
  The NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of 24 
satellites developed, launched, and maintained by the U.S. Air Force that 
provides positioning, timing, and navigation signals free-of-charge to both 
military and civilian users worldwide.
 A second civil frequency will allow receivers to measure the time of arrival 
for two signals that have passed through the Earth,s atmosphere and correct 
for the distortion introduced by passage from space to earth.
 An improved location calculation will allow safety-critical users requiring 
dynamic, reliable capability to be more reliant on the GPS signal, improve the 
overall accuracy of the system for the average user, and allow the 
high-accuracy users (surveying, geodesy, weather forecasters, etc.) to 
determine their data in a faster, more reliable manner.  In addition, the 
second civil signal will allow the safety-critical users to have a backup 
signal in the event of inadvertent disruption of the current civil signal.
 The Interagency GPS Executive Board (IGEB) has selected the 1227.6 MHZ band 
(currently known as the L2 signal) for the addition of new civil capability.  A 
third civil signal will also be added with a decision on the frequency to be 
made in August of this year.  The decision on which of these two new signals 
the Government will pursue to become the safety-of-life service signal will 
also be made in August.
 One of the key factors in deciding which frequency to pursue as the 
safety-of-life signal is a commitment by all members of the IGEB to have a 
safety-of-life service signal available by 2005.
 The new signals are intended to be added to the GPS Block IIF satellites.
 The new signals will be available to all civil users worldwide.  
Internationally, interest has been expressed via the International Civil 
Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the use of a second GPS civil signal in 
conjunction with the Japanese MSAS and the European EGNOS augmentation programs.
 Currently the GPS system is used by a wide range of users:  from cars and 
trucks on the nation,s highways to ships at sea and on inland waterways;  from 
civil aviation to satellites in space, from earthquake monitoring equipment to 
surveyors to backpackers;  new industries such as precision farming; and the 
electrical power companies and long-distance phone systems which derive timing 
and synchronization from the signals.



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