The 60th meeting of the U.S. Civil GPS Service Interface Committee was held September 21-22, 2020, utilizing a virtual meeting platform. This was a unique opportunity for anyone in the world with access to a computer to attend these public meetings of the U.S. Civil GPS Program. For readers who were unable to attend, a synopsis of the meeting is provided below. The full agenda and presentations are available for download from the GPS.gov website.
The meeting of the CGSIC is an annual event, free and open to the public, conducted to provide updates from U.S. GPS program officials and ensure effective information exchange between the U.S. government and civil GPS users. The two-day meeting is hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN). DOT serves as the civil lead for GPS and chairs the CGSIC in this capacity. NAVCEN is assigned duties as Deputy Chair and Executive Secretariat for the CGSIC.
Subcommittees of the CGSIC for Timing, International Information, and Surveying-Mapping-Geosciences held meetings on September 21st, and a summary of these meetings was presented during the CGSIC plenary session conducted on September 22nd.
Major General John E. Shaw, Combined Force Space Component Commander, U.S. Space Command, and Commander, Space Operations Command, U.S. Space Force, provided the keynote for this year’s plenary session. This address was followed by comments from Colonel Curtis Hernandez, Director of National Security Space Policy on the National Space Council and briefings from a variety of other government agencies.
This year’s meeting was replete with briefings from all over the world including an explanation in the International Information Subcommittee of COVID-19 Tracking in South Korea from the Deputy Director of the Korea Ministry of the Interior and Safety. Mr. Everett Hinkley from the U.S. National Forest Service spoke in the Surveying, Mapping and Geosciences Subcommittee showing how the National Remote Sensing Program supports a variety of business areas of the Forest Service including how they are tracking the spread of the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in our nation’s forests. The Timing Subcommittee included an engaging presentation on the current and future plans of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s new Network Time Services.
Presentations during the plenary session focused on the operational status of the GPS constellation and ground control system modernization, U.S. Space-Based PNT policy, GPS augmentation systems, U.S. engagement with other international GNSS providers, PNT resiliency efforts, as well as a variety of topics related to the status and progress of ongoing GPS programs in the U.S. government.
If you have suggestions for topics to include in upcoming CGSIC meetings, would like to present a topic, or if you found information from past meetings useful and would like to hear more, please contact us via our Navigation Center “contact us” form. Please be sure to select “Civil GPS Service Interface Committee (CGSIC)” from the pull-down menu.
From a GPS operational perspective, civilian non-aviation users can submit GPS-related inquiries or report signal interference or degradation to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center online at: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=gpsUserInput or to the 24 hour watch desk at 703-313-5900.
Civil aviation users within the United States should contact the Federal Aviation Administration for GPS user support. The GPS Operations Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, is the Department of Defense lead for operational issues and questions from military users of GPS.