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4G Broadband May Jam GPS

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by robo21, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert
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    Just found this at AVweb:

    The GPS industry is warning that a proposed broadband Internet network could effectively jam GPS signals. Further, it says it has data showing that any of the anticipated 40,000 (yes, four zeroes) transmitters can make a Garmin 430 go dark at a range of five miles. GPS World calls the proposal by LightSquared "disastrous" and warns of major problems for all kinds of GPS-reliant devices.

    The publication says a study (PDF) by GPS-industry stakeholders, including Garmin, determined the LightSquared network "will create a disastrous interference problem for GPS receiver operation to the point where GPS receivers will cease to operate (complete loss of fix) when in the vicinity of these transmitters." That, says the report, "will deny GPS service over vast areas of the United States." The industry told the Federal Communications Commission of the potential problem but the FCC approved the multibillion-dollar effort, which will carry 4G broadband throughout the country.

    In a podcast interview with AVweb, LightSquared spokesman Jeff Carlisle said the broadband system won't affect properly filtered GPS devices and his company is both mandated (by the FCC) and anxious to work with the GPS industry to identify devices that might be affected.

    The issue is the carrier frequencies LightSquared intends to use. The transmitters will use the L Band 1 (1525 MHz—1559 MHz), which is right next door to where the GPS frequencies of 1559—1610 MHz work their navigation magic. The GPS industry study says a Garmin 430 starts feeling the interference at 13.76 miles and experiences a "loss of fix in open sky" at 5.3 miles. Carlisle said the researchers didn't use the same equipment it will be using on the transmitters and LightSquared is going to test GPS devices under actual conditions to determine which are actually affected.

    The testing should be finished by the end of June but there's no indication what might be involved in filtering the affected devices or what that might cost. There's also been no mention of the Air Force, which maintains the GPS system and relies heavily on it for a lot of its systems.
     

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  2. RWhittier

    RWhittier Newbie
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    This is a big problem. If it can interfere with a $8000 Garmin 430, imagine what it will do to your vibrant, your Tom Tom or any other GPS. Those devices are becoming Part of life safety systems for fire departments, airliners and many more applications.

    So, I guess they will provide those filters for us :rolleyes: so they can move ahead. This is not a aviation only problem. Trust me, if those devices aren't filtered well enough, I highly doubt relatively low dollar consumer devices are.

     
  3. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Is there any proof to this? Or do you think this is FUD generated by GPS software makers because they are rapidly becoming obsolete by things like Google Maps, which is free to pretty much anyone with a smartphone. A nationwide 4G network would kill the need for dedicated GPS units for many people.
     
  4. copter105

    copter105 Newbie
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    Do you know what a Garmin 430 is, and what it is used for?
     
  5. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    I'm asking for PROOF.
     
  6. Dark Jedi

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    Has anyone on sprint 4g. Network have any problems with their GPS wither it be on their phone or stand alone GPS unit?

    I find it hard for the FCC to let this slip by.
     
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  7. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Android Expert
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    And they were worried about a little FM transmitter in phones? LOL :)
     
  8. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert
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    Here is more data on the subject, including "clear, strong evidence" with "jamming" ranges etc.

    As screwed up as the federal government is lately I don't find this "hard" for the FCC to let slip by:

    Data Shows Disastrous GPS Jamming from FCC-Approved Broadcaster | GPS World
     
  9. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert
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    It doesn't look good. Time will tell. Data Shows Disastrous GPS Jamming from FCC-Approved Broadcaster | GPS World
     
  10. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Well one thing is forsure, if this Lightsquared project has ANY effect on the Airforce and it's ability to use their equipment effectively, then you can bet your sweet ass Lightsquared will have to come up with an alternative.

    If it comes down to fast internet or national defense.... fast internet will lose.
     
  11. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    AFAIK, Sprint's WiMAX is 2.5~2.7 GHz, so not an issue.

    I've read that Verizon's LTE is at 700 MHz - this LightSquared stuff seems like a whole 'nother beast, tho.
     
  12. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    Indeed.

    At this point it is tempting to debunk the whole thing, or to declare that the sky is falling.

    Do we have enough on this to do either yet?
     
  13. Dark Jedi

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    Mythbuster time LOL.
     
  14. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert
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    Or maybe it's time to:
    [​IMG]
    :p LOL
     
  15. copter105

    copter105 Newbie
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  16. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    I find that a HIGHLY credible source, personally.
     
  17. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    It is credible, obviously.

    What's sad in this matter is:

    "Despite objections from the FAA and the Defense Department because of the threat of interference with GPS, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in January gave conditional approval to LightSquared
     
  18. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert
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  19. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert
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  20. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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    When I first saw that reference to 40,000 xmitters, I immediately thought of this - Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio shoves a base station in a box, minimalists cheer -- Engadget

    Not that this isnt a big enough debacle - but just wait until the radio astronomers get ahold of this. :mad: Dated one - told her first night out I worked GPS to get a rise out of her - some DoD GPS ops screw with those poor cats as it is.

    This can't go through - no way. Did the FCC lose its mind altogether?

    I hate to be the one to say it (no I don't), but we're all already thinking it - if this goes through, LightSquared's orbital resources are going to have a mysterious accident and go dark - and no one will know why their stuff was simply so unreliable.

    Never mess with USSPACECOM or AFSPC.
     
  21. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    Agree totally. I think it is safe to say that our safety trumps one's ability to watch yet another talking baby or feces flinging monkey on YouTube, on our phones, at the speed of 4G.

    Bob Maxey
     
  22. Spiffing

    Spiffing Newbie
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    We Brits have nothing to worry about then. I have to travel 15 miles to get a 3G signal, and 4G is something other countries have!
     
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