AUSTIN, Texas —Applied Research Laboratories: The University of Texas at Austin (ARL:UT) has begun comprehensive testing of the compatibility of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology.
The Federal Communication Commission will evaluate the test data as the agency considers proposals for deployment and regulation of UWB technology. ARL:UT’s testing is expected to be completed by the end of September with data presented to the FCC by Oct. 15, in time for the FCC’s Oct. 30, 2000, deadline for submission of test results.
The Global Positioning System is a satellite-based system for navigation and the tracking of specific locations. It originally was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense but currently is used for both civilian and military purposes.
UWB is a form of wireless communications technology that fuses three technologies: wireless, radar and positioning. Supporters say UWB, which operates without satellites, could extend the reach of GPS to underground indoor and urban environments.
Those raising questions about the effect of UWB on GPS say their concerns relate to the fact that GPS operates below ambient noise levels and is very sensitive to interference. It is unclear at present how the two technologies interact and, thus, independent testing is needed.
Miguel Cardoza, who heads the Advanced Systems Division at ARLUT:UT, said: “We feel it’s important to both the Department Of Defense and the civilian communities that ARL:UT perform these tests. We have a serious commitment to GPS and to protecting the integrity of the GPS system. The testing will provide a baseline by which any organization can determine for itself the impact of UWB transmissions on GPS.”
ARL:UT will be executing a complete range of tests using several Ultra Wideband emitters and several types of GPS receivers, including aviation grade and survey grade receivers. The ARL:UT testing will explore the following areas of interaction involving the two technologies:
*GPS and UWB emissions in the laboratory and the field
*the behavior of GPS receivers in conjunction with a control group of unintentional UWB emitters such as computers and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), and
*the cumulative effect of multiple UWB devices on GPS.
ARL:UT will make the data from the testing available to the general public, but will not be providing analysis or conclusions on the findings. The FCC will analyze the data from these and other tests to make its own determinations.
ARL:UT is exclusively responsible for the test plan, executing the test and collecting data. Funding for the test is being provided through an independent grant from Time Domain Corporation.
ARL:UT conducts programs of basic and applied research, development, engineering, testing and evaluation that are used by the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies. ARL:UT’s experience with satellite-based navigation and positioning systems began with TRANSIT (the first satellite based positioning system) and continued with the advent of GPS in the early 1980s.
For more information, contact Miguel Cardoza at (512) 835-3282 or (512) 657-1008, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org