June 11, 2011

Push Back Begins

Cell tower disguised as a palm tree in Tucson,...Image via Wikipedia
A while ago, we mentioned the concern about potential GPS receiver signal interference from LightSquared  cellular transmission signals, should the FCC approve their proposal to provide service within a similar bandwidth. Turns out others besides the geocaching community are not only concerned, but have conducted tests showing some disturbing results. According to this article in GPS World Magazine, that included testing of John Deere high-precision GPS equipment, "the tests, which simulated various cellular base station transmission schemes proposed by LightSquared in L-band frequencies between 1525-1559 MHz, without exception demonstrated severe interference to Deere’s high-precision GPS receivers." Deere went on to advise the FCC that, "no potentially effective mitigation solution, alone or in combination, has been examined such that it can be deemed to protect other precision GPS users in the construction sector or GPS in other applications."

Whether or not LightSquared's proposed cellular service will result in similar interference problems with our beloved consumer grade GPS receivers is yet to be seen. But let's hope we never have to find out.

Cache On! And do it soon...
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