The Global Positioning System: Assessing National Policies

By Scott Pace; Gerald Frost et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Three
NATIONAL SECURITY ASSESSMENT

Although GPS can support U.S. and allied military activities, it can at the same time create a dependency. Furthermore, enemy uses of GPS can threaten U.S. forces and broader security interests. This dual aspect of GPS -- its utility in American and allied hands, along with the risks of dependency and enemy use -- highlights a fundamental dilemma for decisionmakers seeking to maximize the benefits of GPS technology while minimizing its risks. To help policy- makers deal with this dilemma, this chapter sets forth the benefits and risks associated with military uses of GPS.

The first section considers U.S. military use of GPS. Because U.S. forces rely on GPS, we pay particular attention to potential vulnerabilities and threats that could prevent U.S. forces from taking full advantage of the system. The second section evaluates the threats arising from hostile use of GPS against U.S. assets or those of its allies. Rather than placing equal emphasis on all potential uses of GPS by hostile forces, this study considers those situations that appear to be the most threatening to U.S. forces. For example, the use of GPS by enemy navies appears much less serious than the enemy use of GPS on cruise missiles. It is our assertion that by examining the threats that appear the most significant, we can make a reasonable assessment of the overall risks associated with hostile use of GPS.

The third section of this chapter analyzes how GPS augmentation systems could be exploited by hostile forces. Third-party local- and wide-area differential GPS (DGPS)1 systems can be used by one nation to attack another. The fourth section examines the effectiveness of two signal modifications implemented by the U.S. government: selective availability (SA) and anti-

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1
DGPS enhances the accuracy of the basic GPS signal through the use of differential corrections to the basic GPS timing signals. DGPS is based on comparing positioning measurements with known locations at one or more ground reference stations. These differential corrections are then transmitted to the users so that they can make corrections to their GPS receivers. Differential corrections can improve the 100-meter SPS accuracy to about 5-10 meters, or even less, for many GPS applications.

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The Global Positioning System: Assessing National Policies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xiii
  • Summary xv
  • Acknowledgments xxix
  • Acronyms xxxi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - National Interests and Stakeholders in Gps Policy 11
  • Chapter Three - National Security Assessment 45
  • Chapter Four - Commercial Assessment 93
  • Chapter Five - Institutional and Legal Assessment 163
  • Chapter Six - Conclusions and Recommendations 195
  • Appendix A - Gps Technologies and Alternatives 217
  • Appendix B - Gps History, Chronology, and Budgets 237
  • Appendix C - Gps Policy References 271
  • Appendix D - International Legal References for Gps 293
  • Bibliography 305
  • Gps Interviews 361
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