Legislation amends NTRSA and secures U.S. Government funding for PNT services
Satelles endorses the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (H.R. 2471) passed by the U.S. Congress last week and signed into law yesterday by President Biden. This important action strengthens the nation’s resilience by making it possible for the U.S. Government to implement alternative forms of positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) that will protect our critical infrastructure in accordance with key directives such as Executive Order 13905 on the responsible use of PNT, Space Policy Directive-7 on space-based PNT, and the National R&D Plan for PNT Resilience.
We strongly support the new Appropriations Act because it brings to life a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Transportation to adopt multiple forms of PNT as identified in the Department’s 2021 report on complementary PNT and GPS backup technologies. This report concluded that specific technologies — including Satellite Time and Location (STL) from Satelles — show strong performance, operational diversity, operational readiness, and cost-effectiveness. The GPS backup technologies cited by U.S. DOT to provide PNT are L-band satellite broadcasts (such as STL) and LF/UHF terrestrial broadcasts, along with fiber-optic time services to support transmitters and control segments.
To expand options for technological diversity, a provision in the Appropriations Act changes the law so that the U.S. Government can now deploy a broader range of PNT technologies. Specifically, the newly signed legislation revises the National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018 (“NTRSA”; 49 U.S.C. § 312) to eliminate a requirement that technologies eligible to provide PNT services under the terms of the Act must be ‘land-based.’
As Satelles delivers Satellite Time and Location (STL) from space as a resilient and secure source of PNT to complement the Global Positioning System (GPS), we are delighted that STL — which currently provides precise timing and location information to owners and operators of critical infrastructure in the commercial sector — is now qualified to be a part of any future alternative timing system implemented by the Federal Government under the NTRSA.
Furthermore, Satelles is encouraged by the actions of the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States to secure $15 million in funding for the U.S. DOT to establish a program that will lead to the wide adoption of alternative PNT technologies. With recommendations from the U.S. DOT being comprehensive and clear, we encourage the Department to apply this appropriation to the procurement of alternative PNT services and solutions that will protect critical infrastructure.