[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 16, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22554-22556]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08844]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Research and Innovative Technology Administration

[USCG-2013-0054; RITA-2013-0001]


Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS)

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS and Research and Innovative Technology 
Administration (RITA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice; request for public comments.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard and the Research and Innovative Technology 
Administration are analyzing the current and future user needs and 
requirements of the Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System 
(NDGPS). The NDGPS was designed to broadcast signals to improve the 
accuracy and integrity of the Global Positioning System (GPS) derived 
positions for surface transportation, as well as other civil, 
commercial, scientific, and homeland security applications. This 
analysis will be used to support future NDGPS investment decisions by 
the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of 
Transportation beyond fiscal year 2016. This notice seeks comments from 
Federal, state, and local agencies, as well as other interested members 
of the public regarding current and future usage of the NDGPS, the need 
to retain the NDGPS, the impact if NDGPS signals were not available, 
alternatives to the NDGPS, and alternative uses for the existing NDGPS 
infrastructure.

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before July 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2013-0054 or RITA-2013-0001 using any one of the following methods:

[[Page 22555]]

    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, 
contact LT Luke Byrd, Coast Guard, NDGPS Program Manager, telephone 
202-372-1547 or email Robert.l.byrd@uscg.mil; or Timothy A. Klein, 
Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Senior Policy 
Advisor, telephone 202-366-0075 or email NDGPS@dot.gov. If you have 
questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Barbara 
Hairston, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Participation

    You may submit comments and related material regarding this 
proposed policy. All comments received will be posted, without change, 
to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information 
you have provided.
    Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include the 
docket number for this notice (USCG-2013-0054 or RITA-2013-0001) and 
provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit 
your comments and material online or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but 
please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include your 
name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in 
the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have 
questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
use ``USCG-2013-0054'' or ``RITA-2013-0001'' as your search term. 
Locate this notice in the results and click the corresponding ``Comment 
Now'' box to submit your comment. If you submit your comments by mail 
or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 
8[frac12] by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If 
you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached 
the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or 
envelope.
    We will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period.
    Viewing the comments: To view comments, as well as documents 
mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and use ``USCG-2013-0054'' or ``RITA-2013-0001'' 
as your search term. Use the filters on the left side of the page to 
highlight ``Public Submissions'' or other document types. If you do not 
have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting 
the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of 
the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: Anyone can search the electronic form of comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a 
Privacy Act system of records notice regarding our public dockets in 
the January 17, 2008 issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Background and Purpose

    The NDGPS augments GPS with an additional differential correction 
signal. Differential GPS (DGPS) receivers collect transmitted signals 
from GPS satellites in view, plus the NDGPS correction signals from a 
nearby NDGPS site. The correction signal improves the accuracy of the 
GPS position fix.
    The NDGPS was developed by the Coast Guard in the 1990s to improve 
GPS-calculated positions for navigation, for positioning aids to 
navigation, in support of maritime safety requirements and to offset 
the error induced by the GPS Selective Availability \1\ function at 
that time. The Coast Guard's authority to establish, maintain, and 
operate such aids to navigation is found in 14 U.S.C. 81.
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    \1\ Initially, high quality GPS signals were only available for 
military use. GPS signals available for civilian use were 
intentionally degraded out of concern that civilian GPS signals 
could be used to guide precision weapons. This degradation feature 
is known as Selective Availability. On May 1, 2000, President 
Clinton announced that the United States would stop using the 
Selective Availability feature. For more information on Selective 
Availability, visit the Coast Guard's Web site at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=gpsSelectiveAvailability.
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    In 1997, the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-66, section 346 (111 Stat. 
1449)) authorized the implementation of the inland component of NDGPS. 
In 2006, RITA assumed the lead agency role for the inland NDGPS sites.
    On August 1, 2007, RITA published a notice in the Federal Register 
announcing that it was assessing the user needs and systems 
requirements of the inland (terrestrial) component of the NDGPS (72 FR 
42219). On April 18, 2008, based on RITA's assessment, DOT announced 
its approval of the continuation of inland NDGPS operations.
    There are currently 86 NDGPS sites throughout the United States. 
The Coast Guard funds 49 NDGPS Maritime sites. DOT funds 29 NDGPS 
Inland sites. The remaining eight NDPGS sites are under the sponsorship 
of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and these sites are not 
addressed in this notice. For more information on the NDGPS, visit the 
Coast Guard's Web site at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=dgpsMain. Additional information on the NDGPS is available in 
the 2012 Federal Radionavigation Plan, published by the Department of 
Defense, DHS, and DOT. A copy of the 2012 Federal Radionavigation Plan 
is available for viewing in the public docket for this notice.
    DHS, through the Coast Guard, and DOT, through RITA, are analyzing 
the future requirements for the NDGPS to support investment decisions 
beyond fiscal year 2016. Future investment decisions may include: 
maintaining NDGPS as currently configured; decommissioning the entire 
NDGPS as currently configured; decommissioning a portion of the NDGPS 
and retaining select sites; or developing alternate uses for the NDGPS 
infrastructure. Contributing factors to these decisions are: (1) Coast 
Guard changes in policy to allow aids to navigation (ATON) to be 
positioned with a GPS receiver using Receiver Autonomous Integrity 
Monitoring (RAIM); (2) increased use of Wide Area Augmentation System 
(WAAS) in commercial maritime applications; (3) limited availability of 
consumer-grade NDGPS receivers; (4) no NDGPS mandatory carriage 
requirement on any vessel within U.S. territorial waters; (5) the May 
1, 2000 Presidential Directive turning off GPS Selective Availability; 
(6) continuing GPS modernization; and (7) the Federal Railroad 
Administration's determination that NDGPS is not a

[[Page 22556]]

requirement for the successful implementation of Positive Train 
Control.

Request for Comments

    This notice seeks comments from Federal, state, and local agencies, 
as well as other interested members of the public regarding current and 
future usage of the NDGPS, the need to retain the NDGPS, the impact if 
NDGPS signals were not available, alternatives to the NDGPS, and 
alternative uses for the existing NDGPS infrastructure.
    We request comments from all interested parties to ensure that we 
identify the full range and significance of these issues. We 
specifically request comments regarding the following questions:
    (1) To what extent do you use the NDGPS in its current form for 
positioning, navigation, and timing?
    (2) What would be the impact on NDGPS users if the NDGPS were to be 
discontinued?
    (3) If NDGPS were to be discontinued, what alternatives can be used 
to meet users' positioning, navigation, and timing requirements?
    (4) What potential alternative uses exist for the existing NDGPS 
infrastructure?
    After considering all comments, DHS and DOT will inform the public 
of the agreed course of action with respect to future investment in the 
NDGPS.

    Authority: This notice is issued under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 
552(a), 14 U.S.C. 81, and 49 U.S.C. 301 (Pub. L. 105-66, section 
346).

    Dated: April 8, 2013.
 Dana Goward,
Director of Marine Transportation Systems, U.S. Coast Guard.
    Dated: April 8, 2013.
 Gregory D. Winfree,
Deputy Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology 
Administration.
[FR Doc. 2013-08844 Filed 4-15-13; 8:45 am]
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