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[] GPS-Frequenzstreit zwischen Pentagon und EU,

Today's Tech news from -- December 26, 2001

12/26/2001 - Updated 11:30 AM ET=20
Pentagon: Europe's satellite system could jam GPS

By Bob Brewin, Computerworld

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Search USA TODAY for earlier stories on this subject
Top Pentagon officials have expressed strong concerns that a planned $2.2 b=
illion European satellite navigation system could interfere with signals fr=
om the satellite-based U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) used to conduct=
 military operations, such as the extensive use of GPS-guided smart bombs i=
n Afghanistan.

The frequencies the EU has proposed for Galileo are interleaved with the sa=
me frequencies the U.S. Defense Department has proposed for a new generatio=
n of GPS satellites and could cause interference with GPS, according to Air=
 Force Lt. Col. Ken McClellan, a Pentagon spokesman. "The two proposed syst=
ems are on the same frequencies," McClellan said, adding that the end resul=
t could be inadvertent "jamming" of signals from one satellite navigation s=
ystem by another.

GPS satellites currently transmit position information with an accuracy of =
(10 to 20 meters) available to anyone in the world on simple receivers cost=
ing as little as $100 in the 1,500-MHz frequency band. The satellites also =
transmit an encrypted military signal with an accuracy as good as six meter=
s in the 1,200-MHz band. The new GPS satellites, planned as a part of a $40=
0 million, six-year GPS upgrade in 1999, will add two civilian signals, one=
 in the 1,200-MHz band and another just under that, at 1,176.45 MHz.

The Pentagon conveyed its concerns about potential Galileo interference to =
GPS in a letter from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to European=
 defense ministers on Dec. 4. The letter from Wolfowitz expressly raised co=
ncerns that Galileo could cause interference with military operations, said=
 a Pentagon official who declined to be identified. He added that since NAT=
O enjoys the benefits of GPS and conducts joint operations with the U.S., t=
he Pentagon wanted to participate in discussions with the EU on development=
 of Galileo.

According to a report in the London-based Financial Times Saturday, the EU =
viewed the Wolfowitz letter as U.S. interference with its plan to develop a=
 satellite navigation system free from Pentagon control. The European Commi=
ssion has until March to obtain half the funding for Galileo, with the othe=
r half already budgeted by the European Space Agency.

French president Jacques Chirac urged development of Galileo to insure that=
 Europe doesn't become a "vassal" of the U.S., according to the Financial T=


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