Global Navigation Satellite Systems

Over the past 20 years, GPS has grown into a global public asset, whose multi-use services are integral to U.S. national security, economic growth, transportation safety, and homeland security, and are an essential element of the worldwide economic infrastructure. OES/SAT has led the U.S. effort to ensure that GPS remains at the core of a compatible and interoperable system of Global Navigation Satellites Systems (GNSS), providing civil services to users around the world. These efforts are carried out through bilateral and multilateral engagement.

In 2004, the U.S. and the European Union (EU) finalized an agreement to ensure compatibility and interoperability between GPS and the EU's Galileo system. The U.S. also has held regular bilateral discussions with China since 2014 related to compatibility and interoperability between their BeiDou or BDS system and GPS, and cooperation in providing civil GNSS service. Bilateral discussions with Japan and India have also been held on a regular basis to discuss cooperation on their regional navigation satellite systems.

As the co-chair r of the UN Action Team on GNSS, OES/SAT was instrumental in the creation of the International Committee GNSS (ICG), an informal body bringing together system providers and users of GNSS technology to promote compatibility and interoperability among systems, cooperation on matters of mutual interest related to civil satellite-based positioning, navigation, timing, and value-added services. The ICG also promotes the use of GNSS to support sustainable development, particularly in the developing countries. The U.S. continues to participate actively in these meetings, which have been held annually since 2006, and hosted the 10th anniversary meeting in November 2015, in Boulder, Colorado .