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News Release

No. 139-98
IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 30, 1998 (703)697-5737(public/industry)


The Interagency Global Positioning System Executive Board (IGEB) announced today a decision to place expanded civil capabilities on future Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. A new civil signal will be added to the current military GPS L2 signal. This additional signal will provide significant improvements in GPS positioning and navigation services to worldwide users.

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen said, "This IGEB decision reinforces the continuing U. S. commitment to provide the most capable, efficient and reliable satellite navigation system for use by all the world's nations well into the 21st century."

In addition to reaching a decision on the second civil coded signal, the IGEB recognized that civil GPS users can benefit from the implementation of a third coded signal. Consequently, the IGEB further directed that efforts continue to define an additional frequency in the L band for a third coded civil GPS signal. Although no decision has been made for the location of the third frequency, the IGEB did indicate that the areas of interest are in the proximity of the current frequency allocations used by GPS.

  • The IGEB will finalize the configuration for the additional civil GPS signals early this fall in order to support GPS satellite contract timelines. To assist the IGEB in this effort, the
  • U.S. Air Force is working closely with civil agencies in completing GPS modernization analyses. This effort is focused on making enhancements to the system to improve GPS services for both civil and military users. The addition of these frequencies will greatly enhance the accuracy, reliability, and robustness of the civilian GPS service.

The IGEB was established to implement President Clinton's GPS policy, and is jointly chaired by Jacques Gansler, the under secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, and Mortimer Downey, the deputy secretary of Transportation.

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