12,000 GPS..DOD Receivers not assessed yet

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It will never end will it? This from Janes..a solid source.

Nearly 12,000 of the US Department of Defense's (DoD's) Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers - required for troops and weapons platforms to access the global satellite navigation network - are at high risk from the 'millennium computer bug' because they have not yet been inventoried or made compliant for the year 2000 (Y2K), according to a recent Pentagon audit.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), January 13, 1999


Not a hard job - just tedious. I got to pass on that one though - but here is how to do it if anyone cares:


-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), January 13, 1999.

I am in the middle of working on a problem with GPS right now, and it has nothing to due with y2k. One of the NMEA 183 sentence structures has a modified form in some new receivers that is crashing our systems.

I can only wonder what August will bring.

-- a (a@a.a), January 13, 1999.

On the site Paul gave, http://www.laafb.af.mil/SMC/CZ/homepage/y2000/index.html, select DoD-COMPLIANT RECEIVERS in the scroll box.

The list of GPS receivers listed as compliant is quite long. Compliance is defined thus:

Compliant: "Successful operations before, during and after the EOW and Y2K rollovers as applied to Receiver Test Plan Boundaries."

Civilian GPS users have to row their own boats.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), January 13, 1999.

ANd the civi version is degraded by about 15-30% in terms of accuracy, according to a guy from Trimble who was briefing us on INMARSAT-C communications not so long ago. The civi cersions are about 20 - 30 meters accurate, the mil spec is down to 3 meters (or less)

My understanding is that the civi units, with the entering of a specific code, can be used for mil applications but this is kind of an extrapolation from Clancy's "Armored Cav" discussion of the Desert Storm experience, where they were issued civi units and "reprogrammed" them in the cab of the vehicle.

-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 14, 1999.

"Its not just a good idea, its the law!". That's the way it is Chuck. Generally, the US military doesn't want foreign military powers using cheap civilian GPS receivers for pinpoint artillery fire and so forth. But the civilian jobs are pretty neat anyhow - the wife wants one for her car pretty soon - I am going to go along since they are nice gadgets.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), January 14, 1999.

Night Driver,

Clancy usually has some pretty accurate stuff but the reprogramming of a GPS receiver he missed. Difference between P and N code signals is the encryption algorythm used. DOD does not release the keys for that algorythm to the civilian sector so there is no way to have embedded code to allow "a key" to be entered to receive the more accurate code.

Actually, about a year ago I had an interesting GPS thought. I had been reading about the week counter roll over and thought it was going to make life interesting. Then I was reading business week when they ran the piece on new oil exploration techniques and how it was making previous sources productive. One of the parts of the article referred to moveable north sea oil platforms. They were kept stable on the seas by moving ballast between large tanks under the platform. And guess what, they were using GPS as part of the feedback loop for platform orientation and level. Guess I'll add North Sea oil platform to my last of places I don't want to be come 1999.

Big Toe

-- Big Tom (nospam@nospam.com), January 14, 1999.

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