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RD and T Program: NationWIDE Differential Global Positioning System Amount Requested for FY 2008: $5,000,000

RD and T Program: NationWIDE Differential Global Positioning System Amount Requested for FY 2008: $5,000,000


To operate and maintain the Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS) service, in concert with the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and to conduct system engineering analysis to determine the best method to meet the needs of the transportation community for high performance positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) services and identify the future role of NDGPS as part of this national architecture.


Positioning, navigation, and timing services are critical to the transportation infrastructure and involve cross-cutting technology that supports multi-modal applications. U.S. Space-Based PNT Policy states that the U.S. must continue to improve and maintain GPS, augmentation systems, and back-up capabilities to meet growing national, homeland, and economic security requirements as well as those from the civil, commercial, and scientific communities.

The National Space Policy Directive (NSPD-39) identifies DOT as the focal point for civil GPS representation. However, DOT faces challenges in harmonizing and coordinating research for improved use of PNT and development of augmentation systems. Without a management structure to coordinate research activities, there is risk for duplication of effort and resources not spent wisely.

Development of a national PNT architecture will benefit from a coordinated approach from the civil community to determine the right mix of systems to meet user PNT needs in the future. RITA is the lead of the National PNT Architecture effort for DOT on behalf of the civil community. The architecture effort will involve close coordination with the other civil departments and agencies and, in particular, with the Office of Navigation and Spectrum Policy for policy decisions that result from the architecture study.


  • System engineering including user needs evaluation, PNT technology assessment, definition of future environment, analysis tools, PNT architecture alternatives, cost/benefit analysis.
  • Operation and maintenance of the NDGPS sites at a low level through a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard to preserve the government investment in this system.