ACCESS CHARGES AND RELATED ISSUES FOR CIVIL GPS USERS

Thomas A. Stansell, Jr.

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The Global Positioning System (GPS) will be a giant navigation utility paid for by the U.S. taxpayers. Access charges will permit the operational costs to be borne by those who actually use the system, both foreign and domestic, rather than by the taxpayers. Civil users who pay for a service will not be ignored, as they are now with the Transit system. User charges will permit operational continuity when the DOD no longer needs GPS. An implementation technique based on annual replacement of an LSI chip which decrypts the satellite message is described. A low annual charge is recommended to permit maximum system use and to optimize annual revenues. Counterfeiting is shown to be impractical, except by pirate radio transmissions. The design challenges related to interaction with military requirements, equitable costs for different classes of users, and the transition from one access chip to the next are described. Institutional issues are outlined, including who should develop the user charge technique. It is proposed that higher charges apply to those who purchase foreign-built equipment to promote U.S. employment, balance of payments, and to provide a return on the U.S. taxpayer investment in the system development. Those civil users who need maxium accuracy are frustrated with the Government policy of accuracy denial. This is described, and the probable development of differential GPS techniques to recover accuracy is evaluated. The creation of differential GPS standards is encouraged. Finally, another plea for greater civil user involvement in federal navigation planning is aired.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 29, Number 2
Pages: 160 - 175
Cite this article: Stansell, Thomas A., Jr.,, "ACCESS CHARGES AND RELATED ISSUES FOR CIVIL GPS USERS", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 29, No. 2, Summer 1982, pp. 160-175.
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