Bombshell: General accused WH of pressuring him to change testimony for Democratic donor

posted at 12:05 pm on September 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

With the White House already reeling over the Solyndra collapse, a new scandal may have erupted today that could make the disappearance of $535 million in taxpayer funds look like a paperwork glitch.  Eli Lake starts off his new gig at The Daily Beast with a huge bombshell — an accusation made to members of Congress from a four-star Air Force general that claimed the White House pressured him to change his testimony to boost a big donor to the Democratic Party:

The four-star Air Force general who oversees U.S. Space Command walked into a highly secured room on Capitol Hill a week ago to give a classified briefing to lawmakers and staff, and dropped a surprise. Pressed by members, Gen. William Shelton said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor.

The episode—confirmed by The Daily Beast in interviews with administration officials and the chairman of a congressional oversight committee—is the latest in a string of incidents that have given Republicans sudden fodder for questions about whether the Obama administration is politically interfering in routine government matters that affect donors or fundraisers. Already, the FBI and a House committee are investigating a federal loan guarantee to a now failed solar firm called Solyndra that is tied to a large Obama fundraiser.

Now the Pentagon has been raising concerns about a new wireless project by a satellite broadband company in Virginia called LightSquared, whose majority owner is an investment fund run by Democratic donor Philip Falcone. Gen. Shelton was originally scheduled to testify Aug. 3 to a House committee that the project would interfere with the military’s sensitive Global Positioning Satellite capabilities, which control automated driving directions and missile targeting, among other things.

According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon’s position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, the officials said.

As Eli explains, it’s not unusual to distribute prepared Congressional testimony in draft form to other related agencies before giving the testimony.  The review gives everyone a chance to make sure that the facts are correct and the testimony is as accurate as possible.  But sending Shelton’s testimony to LightSquared would raise big red flags on its own — let alone the accusation that the White House attempted to dictate Shelton’s testimony to benefit LightSquared and their big donor.

Rep. Mike Turner told Eli that this was definitely an attempt to influence Shelton, bias his testimony, and essentially mislead Congress.  And that has a watchdog organization drawing parallels between Shelton’s accusation and the Solyndra collapse:

Melanie Sloan, who runs the nonpartisan ethics groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the emerging allegations about possible White House involvement in LightSquared’s matter seemed to mirror earlier allegations in the Solyndra case.

“With this new set of facts, it starts to sound like a pattern of the White House improperly pressuring people at agencies involving decisions that affect companies tied to donors and fundraisers,” Sloan said. “It’s always a problem when the White House is pressuring anyone’s testimony. I don’t care if you are a four-star [general] or a GS-15 [career employee], you should be giving your true opinion and not an opinion the White House is seeking for political expediency.”

Quite frankly, this would be a lot more blatant and much more troubling.  If the White House has been leaning on the military to mislead Congress in order to benefit Democratic donors, that indicates a whole new level of corruption, one that could seriously damage the non-partisan nature of civilian control of the military.  If Shelton sticks to this accusation, then Congress needs to hold immediate hearings into who exactly pressured Shelton — and from whom that person took his or her orders.

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Hope and Light Squared?

chickasaw42 on September 15, 2011 at 5:16 PM

There have been so many sweetheart deals conducted by this WH, it’s been turned into a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory and that’s not a racist statement.

Kissmygrits on September 15, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Research it all you like, the 4G in question is taking up the old TV space.

Why would they need to be retrofitted? The systems would probably work just fine most of the time within an acceptable margin of error.

Landing a jumbo can’t have a 300 ft MoE AND have that MoE calculated from a point that is 40 to 70 ft off to begin with.

550 FT plus MoE will put you in San Francisco Bay on a foggy day. 150 FT at the gate will put your plane through the terminal Airplane style

Trains missing the platform by 200 ft in the middle of rush hour will destroy a commute.

The feds still hold the option to re-encrypt in a time of war for sure, but we’ve based a heavy heavy portion of our modern transportation infrastructure on GPS and stomping out the GPS signal in orbit will render most GPS technology useless.

Trillion + in retrofits would be necessary just to run our transport networks in the manner they are run now. The cost to commercial aviation alone would bankrupt a number of smaller carriers and airports.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Let’s not forget that alot of medical equipment now uses GPS for timestamping.

Everything that uses GPS for timestamping would have to be retrofitted as well.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I’m telling you: crony capitalism is going to be THE issue in 2012. Not Medicare. Not Social Security. Not even the economy. Attacking Obama for giving special rewards to special friends is his achilles heel.

alwaysfiredup on September 15, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Besides, aircraft hardly need GPS to land at minimum weather (ceiling a vicinities). Radar GCS and ILS can be used just fine. Same thing with ships in a foggy bay. They navigated accurately without GPS in the past, and they can do it again in the future.

Not to be nasty, but you really don’t know what you are talking about here.

Aviator on September 15, 2011 at 6:25 PM

“If the White House has been leaning on the military to mislead Congress in order to benefit Democratic donors, that indicates a whole new level of corruption, one that could seriously damage the non-partisan nature of civilian control of the military.”

Culture of corruption…

Danny on September 15, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Good to see you admit that ALL of these industries made the decision to employ GPS systems knowing full well that an accurate GPS signal could be yanked from them at any time.

blink on September 15, 2011 at 6:20 PM

This is stupid.

I have title to my home and so I have the right to use it, but because of eminent domain, the government can come in and take it if they need it. Does this mean I must live my life as if the government can come in an bulldoze my house at any moment? Of course not.

The WHOLE point of having bandwidth allocated by the FCC is so that companies can trust they will be able to use the bandwidth they have purchased the rights to use.

Lily on September 15, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Commercial aviation is still not beholden to GPS.

As others have said, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Losing GPS at half of the top 10 airports in the U.S. would CRIPPLE commercial aviation nationwide.

Landing is one thing. Take off and spacing of planes is another. Management on the ground is another.

Take away GPS and the top airports would lose over 50% of their current traffic overnight.

All of the commuter rail systems in the United States with the exception of NYC and Chicago are totally dependent on GPS.

Fully 75% of shipping container traffic in the US is dependent on GPS and RFID working in concert.

Timestamping alone would result in hundreds of billions of dollars of lost productivity and retrofitting.

GPS is what modern American transportation and information systems are now reliant on. You can’t turn it off and on at a whim. Yes, you can mess up the whole system in a time of war, for an emergency.

Beaming rural broadband down from space is not an emergency and certainly not an emergency worth crippling the United States and all international trade.

As for “at the minimums”:

No, commercial aircraft didn’t even have GPS approach systems until years AFTER Clinton unencrypted the signal. They landed at minimums just fine then.

You do realize that GPS and GPWS are two completely different systems right?

In the system your talking about, GP stands for Ground Proximity, not Global Positioning.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Including Lightpoint. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to use the bandwidth that they purchased just because some manufactures of GPS devices were sloppy?

blink on September 15, 2011 at 6:56 PM

It wasn’t the manufacturers who were sloppy. It was the FCC.

More specifically it was the Obama administration and L2 trying to leverage 4G into a satellite system that will stomp out the GPS signal FROM ORBIT.

On the ground, 4G is fine. It can be managed just like current electromagnetic interference.

When you take your transmitters up into space and position them between the GPS satellites and the ground AND you also stomp on the same frequencies, you have a BIG problem.

The manufacturers did not decide on a whim to change the way the electromagnetic spectrum is managed, Obama and his FCC did that when they started giving license and encouragement to L2 to put up satellites that will block the GPS signal.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 7:17 PM

No, commercial aircraft didn’t even have GPS approach systems until years AFTER Clinton unencrypted the signal. They landed at minimums just fine then.

blink on September 15, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I suspect I’ve actually flown more approaches using GPS and ground based equipment than you have. The FAA has been pursuing NexGen air traffic control. The backbone of that system is GPS. Many non GPS approaches have been done away with and many more GPS based approaches have been created than ground based. GPS actually allows the creation of instrument approaches that really could not exist if one were using ground based equipment.

http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsid=8145

Aviator on September 15, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Own up to the mismanagement of the spectrum and swap some spectrum around so L2′s has equivalent spectrum and keep the GPS spectrum clear.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Ah, common sense. It’ll never fly with this bunch.

hillbillyjim on September 15, 2011 at 7:55 PM

blink on September 15, 2011 at 9:39 PM

Nice strawman. I never claimed 50% would stop and I made no comment regarding anything Jason said. What you wrote indicates you don’t know much about aircraft navigation or instrument landing systems. As an example: “at minimum weather (ceiling a vicinities)” What the heck does that mean?

Aviator on September 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Aircraft spacing was managed fine prior to 2003. Air traffic hasn’t doubled in the last 8 years.

No, but traffic handling at the major airports has more than doubled. That’s not the issue.

I’ll leave aside your confusion between GPS and GPWS and EGPWS (the one that combines the two).

GPS on the ground allows controllers to manage what aircraft is where on their tarmac. GPS allows much of the process of moving jets from runway to terminal, to maintenance facilities to take off ramps to be automated and generally error free. The planes can tell the system exactly where they are in space and in time.

Without that assistance, you have to go back to the old system where people in the tower had to physically look out, find a plane, get the tail number, cross reference that number, then call the pilot, confirm where they think they are and where they need to be.

Without GPS, a system that takes fractions of a second to figure that all out takes valuable minutes and multiple people communicating over already crowded radio traffic.

That’s just ONE aspect of how GPS helps manage traffic. There are dozens more.

So let’s suppose that we double turnaround time at Hartselle and JFK. Within 4 hours you have a literal cluster fark in the skies over half the nations airports. Within a day, you’ve lost fully 10% of your carrying load for passengers and cargo.

That’s just slowing down 2 of the top 10 airports.

Slow them all down and you lose 50% of the carrying capacity of the national system.

—————-

Let’s look at spacing the planes? With GPS we can crowd triple the number of planes on a given flightpath. Without GPS we have to greatly increase the space between planes. Reducing the carrying capacity of the routes.

We would have to go back to having dedicated navigators on almost all fights to keep track of who and what is where around us. Yeah, the airlines have the margins to absorb that hit after spending trillions getting to the point they weren’t needed.

And we know humans make very few navigational mistakes right?

—————-

As for whether or not 4G and GPS signals overlap and interfere. . .

DUDE – That’s the whole point of this.

The U.S. military KNOWS they do.
The White House ADMITS that they do. They just don’t want the General to say that.

The fact that you don’t want to admit that they conflict is not my problem, EVERYONE in the debate knows they do except you.

The Obama administration just wants to cover and say they’ll have a fix ready to test in 90 days.

They don’t have a fix, unless it’s under some manhattan project-esque super secrecy even secret from SPACECOM. The only possible fixes are a complete overhaul/retrofit of the system or don’t place 4G transmission satellites in space.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 10:17 PM

This is simply untrue. Ships don’t rely on their containers RFID’s to navigate properly. And if container RFID systems rely on GPS then they might have to think of another way to ensure security. That doesn’t mean that the ship can’t navigate.

Now I think you’re just playing a game at being ignorant or intentionally obtuse.

Shipping Container Traffic – means the entire journey of the container, NOT it’s time spent on-board a ship.

Most containers are tracked by RFID/Barcode and GPS by the shipping company.

Without GPS, companies would have to roll back to manual scanning, reporting and collating to determine an approximate location of a particular container. When your business deals with hundreds of thousands of containers moving through hundreds of sub-contractors and is all part of a “just-in-time” logistics system, no GPS means you are out of business.

The world is now accustomed to instant location information, the entire world’s logistics structure is now based around the container, and container management is handled through GPS. Without GPS, a shipper cannot guarantee the schedules they do today, so plants would be forced to carry greater inventories of parts and materials (at significant cost).

GPS has become as indispensable as diesel fuel in todays modern logistical framework. Take out GPS and everything slows down, and time is money.

———–

You obviously have some serious deficiencies on some key concepts regarding this topic Blink. I suggest you try to understand what the problem THAT EVERYONE ADMITS IS THERE (Military, White House, FCC, Aviation, Transportation) actually is before you try to shill for shoddy work by the FCC and serious cronyism from the White House.

Blink there is literally no legitimate group out there saying that this 4G deployment WILL NOT significantly adversely affect GPS.

The White House just tried to get the General to say they’d have a vaporware fix in 90 days. He balked, as he rightly should have, because there is no “fix”.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 10:45 PM

I never claimed that you claimed that.

And you certainly didn’t disagree with him despite knowing that he was wrong.

Seemed like you did and I’m not required to opine on every post.

Ha, I meant ceiling and visibility. I’m commenting too much and too fast tonight. I know what I’m talking about, and I think you know that.

I’m not convinced you really do know what you are talking about. You also appear to be unwilling to even entertain the thought that I might know what I’m talking about. We can just agree to disagree and leave it there.

Aviator on September 15, 2011 at 10:49 PM

I’m not confused at all. It’s obvious that you don’t know anything about flying an approach.

Here’s a clue. Approaches were flown prior to Clinton unencrypting GPS.

And I’ve never said they weren’t. YOU were talking about GPWS in your “at minimums” comment, YOU had that confused with GPS. Clinton’s moved allowed GPS to be incorporated into GPWS.

The EGPWS system and GPS itself has created landing opportunities that simply did not exist prior to it.

So does the Mark-I Eyeball. Airport ground control handling would not at all be crippled without GPS. Traffic hasn’t doubled in the last 8 years. Your argument is weak.

And the ole Mark-1 Eyeball is no where near as accurate as GPS and takes minutes to figure out between multiple people what GPS can confirm in under 1 second.

Just so we are clear – Your position is that the eyeball and radio can do the same job with tarmac management that GPS can with the same accuracy and in the same time frame?

PS – I never said Air Traffic has increased 50% in the last 8 years. Did I?

I said that losing GPS would decrease traffic in the current system by 50%

So again – Just so we are clear. Your position is that airline handling on the ground and in the air would be just as efficient without GPS? Is that correct?

Really? Then why does Lightspeed want to waste money building the system that will be rendered useless by GPS?

You realize you have this backwards right?

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 11:01 PM

The bottom line is that you can’t explain why Lightpoint would be spending money to install the system if the GPS signals were going to stomp all over the 4G signals. You’re not telling the whole story. You’ve made bogus claims in this thread, so I need to research the issue on my own.

Yeah, You do need to research it.

You’ve got it COMPLETELY BACKWARDS.

It’s the problem of placing a 4G transmitting satellite into orbit beneath a GPS satellite.

The 4G signal stomps out the GPS signal. Not the other way around.

The 4G signal from orbit means NO ACCURATE GPS inside the Earth’s atmosphere. Not an expanded location like when it was encrypted, the actual calculation of time and space would be off.

One moment your GPS might tell you that you are where you are, the next it might think you are in Shanghai. Putting L2′s satellites up there at the frequencies they are planning would make terrestrial and airborne GPS inaccurate, unreliable and unpredictable.

AGAIN, you have it backwards, it is 4G that stomps out GPS, not the other way round.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 11:18 PM

Lightspeed wouldn’t be “wasting money”

Their 4G would work, and work good. The problem is that with Lightspeed’s satellites in orbit, GPS would not work.

You Have the problem backwards from the very beginning.

GPS doesn’t stomp out 4G, 4G stomps out GPS.

Nobody is claiming that it is. I’m telling you that the absence of GPS wouldn’t cripple airports. Deny that if you really want to.

I’m saying that if you turn off GPS, the current air traffic handling system would be crippled. It wouldn’t be dead, and it wouldn’t be equal. Nor would it just be a minor, temporary inconvenience.

It would be a major inconvenience and it would reverse trillions of dollars of investment across all military, transportation and commercial aviation sectors.

If you want to quibble about whether it would be a 10% or 25% or 50% reduction in efficiency, I don’t care, it would be a MAJOR disruption and would cost billions possibly trillions to return us back to normal levels while NEVER recouping on the investments lost.

———————–

Yet, you’ve still got it COMPLETELY backwards as to what is doing what to what.

Again. . .

A 4G LTE satellite-based network would stomp out GPS reception, not the other way around.

Far from Lightspeed wasting money, their money would be golden; it’s all of the money and logistical systems that we’ve put into GPS that would go up in smoke.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 11:43 PM

It’s you that doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

Signal interference would occur at the receiver. There wouldn’t be unilateral interference.

blink on September 15, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Yes, it would occur at the receiver, and no receivers would get reliable GPS signals because the 4G signals would stomp them out.

In other words, if Lightspeed launches their satellites and turn them on, GPS receivers on the planet are basically useless.

The Military, Aviation and Transport Sectors, The White House, and FCC all agree that L2′s 4G satellite network would make GPS unreliable at best, and generally unusable.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 11:51 PM

Dude,

Did you even attempt to read the article this post is about?

The general told Turner’s committee that preliminary tests of a new LightSquared proposal to use only a portion of the band that it was licensed originally in 2004 would cause significant disruptions to GPS.

He said the GPS spectrum was supposed to originally be a “quiet neighborhood,” meaning that lower strength signals could exist near the GPS spectrum. Speaking of the LightSquared plan, he said, “If you put a rock band in the middle of that quiet neighborhood, that’s a different circumstance.”

You go ahead, do your research, if you can come up with a different result than both SPACECOM and Lightsquared, more power to ya.

Here’s Lightspeed admitting they can’t make both systems work together:

“Any suggestion that we have run roughshod over the regulatory process is contradicted by reality: Our plans to begin implementing America’s first privately funded, wholesale, affordable, coast-to-coast wireless broadband service have been delayed for a year and we have been forced to commit more than $100 million to find a solution that will allow consumers to benefit from both our service and GPS,” Ahuja said.

They haven’t found a solution yet.

This is not some hypothetical we’re talking about here. They have already tested the system over Louisiana, where they could see the effect over the nation’s largest Army Base, a Naval Base and a Strategic Air Command Base. Lightsquared’s system disrupts GPS and makes it unreliable.

You can go “explain” electromagnetic wave interaction all you want, but be sure to include what type of civilian or military radio licenses you hold as well (if you want to play games).

No amount of “explaining” will change the fact they’ve already tested it and know what it does.

There is no fix. The Obama White House wants the military to promise Congress that they have a fix ready to be tested in 90 days. They don’t have it, and they won’t, because they do understand electromagnetic wave interaction a bit better than I do and certainly more than you’ll be able to “explain” after you google it up.

Hint: In your future research, start by reading links in the actual post.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Let me help you with your research.

NPEF –

Recommendation 1: LightSquared should not commence commercial services per its planned deployment for terrestrial operations in the 1525 – 1559 MHz Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS)
Band due to harmful interference to GPS operations.

Of course, that’s just one side of the issue, that side just happens to be National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing
Systems Engineering Forum (NPEF). That’s the group the White House put together to study the civilian-side effects.

So Lightsquared must have a contradictory position right?

In the case above, the precision receiver was not able to calculate a position in any mode out to 2 km from the tower, at which point the van was turned around, so it is not known for how far the precision GPS denied zone extended.

That case above was what happened when they did a live sky test over Las Vegas. Ambulances, Airliners, Timestamps, Policecars, and more all blacked out. (See: Lightsquared’s final report, bottom of page 249 for the quote above)

You can get all of the Government and Lightsquared reports on the same page, here you go:

http://www.pnt.gov/interference/lightsquared/

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 1:38 AM

Source for those talking points?

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 1:47 AM

1. The spectrum(s) commonly called 4G were originally lined out in the auction of TV spectrum. It was, and the auction was in Feb. 2008. 4G is not a specific spectrum frequency(s), it’s a number of them. Trying to “get me” on industry generalizations is lame.

I’m not going to play the “let’s be hyper accurate and/or obtuse” game with you much longer.

If you had ever wanted to discuss specific frequency bands within what is commonly called 4G, you should have said so. It’s far simpler and easier for conversation to state 4G that it is to rattle off the frequencies used in each phase of this. This is a non-issue.

2. Lightspeed’s system does NOT bleed over its 1525-1559 band.

Your source please.

In the anechoic chamber, that is true. By the specs, that is true.

As demonstrated in their own Live Sky tests, it is false.

See their final report to the FCC, bottom of page 249, linked above.

3. I’ll wait to see if/how your source pans out.

4. Non-issue, never a concern of mine.

5. and 6. are talking points from the company and the White House.

Largely irrelevant, but confirm what the General related about A) White House pressure to announce “testing a fix” within 90 days, which the military does not have plans for. B) giving the General’s testimony to L2 was improper at best

7. Yes, that was the agenda of the meeting, but not necessarily the testimony of the General. The General was clear in his statements. Care to quote where he felt this was a non issue.

——————————–

Btw, you were also wrong about the transmission source of the 1525-1559 MHz signal. It’s not satellite transmission. It’s terrestrial. You know that now, right?

It’s a hybrid satellite-terrestrial system. I’ve already stated that the ground based system alone is not a problem.

You obviously are either just googling as you go or your getting someone to feed this to you.

Zeta Associates tested in the Air. (FAA sponsored)
JPL tested in Space. (NASA sponsored)
Lightsquared tested on the ground. (L2 picked up this tab.)
The U.S. military tested the complete system with their own gear and their own expense.

The system as designed has been tested. The system as designed and approved by the FCC blacks out GPS receivers. It’s as simple as that.

The fact that one section works is not the issue. AS I’VE ALREADY STATED, if they want to do a spectrum swap to clean this up, great.

Giving them billions for Rural Broadband that in order to work must black out GPS is irresponsible. Pressuring the General to change his testimony is borderline illegal. Putting our National Security and GPS system in unnecessary risk is unacceptable.

Your sources please. No links necessary, I can handle that myself. Organizations and agencies please.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 2:29 AM

Your playing a game of changing around what I said.

Please find me any post where I mention SPECIFIC frequencies rather than using the generic 4G.

The system as designed and approved by the FCC blacks out GPS receivers. It’s as simple as that

.

The FCC hasn’t granted approval to initiate transmissions so your statement is false.

I’ve never stated that the FCC granted approval to initiate transmission. I stated that the system “as designed and approved” by the FCC.

The system has been designed, and that design has been approved for testing. It doesn’t work. It blacks out GPS receivers.

——————————-

It’s a hybrid satellite-terrestrial system. I’ve already stated that the ground based system alone is not a problem.

And that statement was and is dead wrong. Lightspeed’s satellite transmissions aren’t being accused of anything. It’s Lightspeed’s terrestrial transmissions that are suspect. If it had been the satellite frequencies in question, then the issue could have been handled by the NTIA.

Again, the system as designed blacks out GPS, simple as that.

The terrestrial system blacks out a zone measured in km, around the tower. L2 Confirms in their final report.

The terrestrial system blacks out aircraft GPS to at least 3K ft.

JPL put a receiver in orbit and testing was conducted on field days in coordination with Zeta and Lightsquared. JPL confirms full power and Zeta confirms loss of GPS at higher altitudes.

The whole system is a problem.

———————-

It’s quite possible that the General didn’t understand this. It’s quite possible that the General, despite his position, doesn’t fundamentally understand interference and was taking a risk adverse approach. There’s nothing wrong with the WH attempting to discuss the issue with him. I’d invite the General to explain exactly how they attempted to “pressure” him.

But, you think you know better than the General in charge of SPACECOM. You think you’ve got a better handle on it than the FCC, which sent the whole thing back to testing on Tuesday?

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db0913/DA-11-1537A1.pdf

You still haven’t even read the articles in this post:

“There was an attempt to influence the text of the testimony and to engage LightSquared in the process in order to bias his testimony,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)

The President can set whatever policy he wants for SPACECOM, what he can’t do is ask a General to change the conclusions of SPACECOM/The Pentagon’s official testing panel and falsely report to Congress.

You should really try reading the articles linked in the post.

You’re really trying to sell that the commander of SPACECOM doesn’t understand the issue. That’s enough for me.

—————-

This game with you is over. Sorry Binky.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 4:04 AM

The President can set whatever policy he wants for SPACECOM, what he can’t do is ask a General to change the conclusions of SPACECOM/The Pentagon’s official testing panel and falsely report to Congress.

We’re back to the real problem at hand, and on that note,
I just heard on FNC that the General did NOT say what they wanted him to.
It was a classified hearing, so that has been tough to determine, but apparently it finally has been.

pambi on September 16, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Here’s a link for those who respect General Shelton more than Binky:

Shelton’s released testimony

Summary
Empirical test results indicate the originally planned LightSquared network does not preserve existing GPS service in representative environments for most users.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Released Testimony of Teresa Takal, CIO Department of Defense

The NPEF test report was completed on June 15, 2011 and subsequently submitted to the spectrum regulator for Federal Agencies, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), for their review and transmittal to the
FCC. The test data indicated that the proposed LightSquared terrestrial operations would cause harmful interference to GPS operations. For example, GPS receivers of various types and manufacture operated by DoD, National GeospatialIntelligence Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, the State
of New Mexico public safety, commercial aviation, and precision farming systems showed varying degrees of degradation of GPS accuracy, interruptions of GPS signal acquisition, or total loss of GPS tracking and position
, depending upon the GPS receivers’ proximity to the tested LightSquared signal transmitter.

None of the parties cognizant of the NPEF testing, including LightSquared, whose personnel observed the NPEF testing on-site, or FCC staff, dispute that the LightSquared terrestrial network plan that was tested by NPEF caused unacceptable levels of harmful interference to GPS. The testing also showed a
source of interference that was due to the combined effect of the LightSquared dual-channel signal. The LightSquared dual-channel, its so-called ‘Lower 5 or 10 MHz’ combined together with the ‘Upper 5 or 10 MHz’, caused an intermodulation product, or IMP, that was generated on top of the GPS L1 signal in its GPS band, interfering with GPS receivers. This IMP was caused by the LightSquared dual-channel choice and its design, and not by the designs or
filtering limitations of GPS receivers.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Testimony of Anthony Russo, Director, National Coordination Office

Summary

The extensive and comprehensive testing done by LightSquared, the NPEF and the GPS Industry conclusively demonstrates harmful interference from LightSquared’s intended deployment of their high-power terrestrial broadband system and should not be allowed to commence commercial operations until the identified problems are resolved to the satisfaction of the FCC.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:20 PM

For those who have the time, here’s the released video of yesterday’s hearing.

http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/2011/9/sustaining-gps-for-national-security

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Testimony of Victor Sparrow, Director, Spectrum Policy and Planning Division, NASA

http://www.pnt.gov/public/2011/09/sciencecommittee/sparrow.pdf

Finally, NASA was involved in the test and analysis effort conducted by the RTCA (formerly the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics), an advisory body to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA chartered an RTCA committee to investigate the impact to aviation and NextGen of the LightSquared implementation plan. This team concluded that all three phases of the currently proposed LightSquared deployment plan are incompatible with aviation GPS operations.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Testimony of David Applegate, USGS, Department of Interior

http://www.pnt.gov/public/2011/09/sciencecommittee/applegate.pdf

Recent testing has demonstrated that reception of the L1 signal, the civilian-use band of frequencies, by high-precision receivers used by DOI is significantly degraded when exposed to the proposed LightSquared signals tested thus far (recently proposed alternatives will require further testing to be sufficiently understood and fairly judged). Given the wide use of such receivers and the uncertainty of technical fixes, it is impossible to predict exactly how much it would cost to replace these receivers. The Department estimates that it has invested about $100 million in the technology and it could cost as much as $500 million to replace it. Also, there could be a cost in lost situational awareness and on-going scientific research.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Statement to the Committee of Mary Glackin, Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, NOAA

http://www.pnt.gov/public/2011/09/sciencecommittee/glackin.shtml

Potential NOAA Impacts from LightSquared’s Modified Spectrum Plan

LightSquared’s proposed solution to the problem involves voluntary power limits and the postponement of one of its two planned broadcast channels — the upper 10 MHz bordering the GPS signal.

Unfortunately, the existing data from the interference testing groups, including LightSquared’s own report to the FCC, demonstrates that the new spectrum plan, involving the lower 10 MHz channel, still raises issues for high-precision GPS receivers that feature a wideband design. As I mentioned, NOAA participated in this testing. Specifically, we provided five different wideband receivers that are representative of the equipment in use at NOAA for high-precision positioning. During the tests, four out of the five models failed when subjected to only the lower 10 MHz LightSquared channel.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Statement of Peter Appel, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

http://www.pnt.gov/public/2011/09/sciencecommittee/appel.pdf

Based on the test results of using both the upper and lower portion of the LightSquared band – the original LightSquared operating plan – aviation use of GPS would be significantly compromised due to the aggregate effect of 40,000 highpower LightSquared transmitters. This would impact GPS receivers onboard over 60,000 aircraft, resulting in substantial retrofit costs. Benefits of providing more direct routes and improving capacity, as well as safety benefits of using GPS for
approach and landing in all weather conditions, and addressing controlled flight into terrain and runway incursions, would not be fully realized.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM

NPEF Live Sky Test Results, taken from released Public presentation

http://www.pnt.gov/advisory/2011/06/bunce.pdf

Live Sky Test Summary

• First Responders

– State Police
• Police cruiser lost GPS reception ~600 feet from tower
• Police HQ could not locate cruiser on their tracking system

– Ambulance
• No PNT solution ~1,000 feet from tower
• System presented false PNT data (9 mph while vehicle was stationary)

– Fire Department
• No PNT solution ~1,000 feet from tower
• System reported last known vehicle position not near actual location

• GM/OnStar
– Lost GPS on most receivers
– Significant degradation of service

NASA Results included in same presentation –

• NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) results demonstrate
significant interference effects to space receivers
• Next Generation space receivers inoperable at 300 Km
• Results revealed an intermodulation interference effect
“in-band” to GP

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM

No Solution for Aviation – Submitted 9/15/11 Released 9/16/11

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6016841720

———————————-

See also : Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Fix? What fix?

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 1:54 PM

For the past year, Lightspeed has been saying that they will not initiate any systems that affect any GPS devices ever.

blink, I have a question: Why do you believe LightSquared when they say this?

Mary in LA on September 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM

I’m not a techie person like you guys, but because LightSquared is an Obama donor, this smells like corruption to me.

Mary in LA on September 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Garmin engineers are simply saying that they can’t comment on a fix unless they know what the fix is. One doesn’t even need technical knowledge to understand this letter.

Fix? What fix are you referring to? Please link to fix.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 5:11 PM

This is the issue!!!!!

blink on September 16, 2011 at 5:00 PM

No. It’s not. That may be your issue, it’s never been mine.

Please link to your fix. Test results as well please.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 5:21 PM

That was the purpose of the hearing which was the reason for the post.

blink on September 16, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Nope. The adgenda of the hearing wasn’t the purpose of the post. The revelations of the testimony was the purpose of the post. Testimony that is linked and quoted above.

Do you mean the “fix” that the White House tried to get the general to say would be ready to test in 90 days?

That fix?

Garmin, Mitre and Trimble addressed that fix today. Doesn’t work.

The LightSquared proposal does nothing to
address the Aviation interference issues with
the lower 10 – it may make things worse.
• It is not clear that limiting the “power-on-the-ground”
does anything to reduce the aggregate interference
received by an aircraft in flight.
• The analyses of the effects of the LightSquared transmissions on
airborne GPS are based on an assumption of a base station transmit
power of +62 dBm.
• The latest proposal does not change this, it only suggests that the
transmit power could be reduced or the antenna downtilt could be
changed if the measured “power-on-the-ground” exceeds the limits.
• Reducing the “power-on-the-ground” by reducing ATC antenna downtilt
may actually increase the amount of RFI seen by an aircraft in flight.
• “Power-on-the-ground” is not relevant to aircraft in flight

Continues at:

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021709619

Do you have a link, or anything, to back up your claims?

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 6:37 PM

NOAA also confirms that the proposed “fix” doesn’t work for them.

Potential NOAA Impacts from LightSquared’s Modified Spectrum Plan

LightSquared’s proposed solution to the problem involves voluntary power limits and the postponement of one of its two planned broadcast channels — the upper 10 MHz bordering the GPS signal.

Unfortunately, the existing data from the interference testing groups, including LightSquared’s own report to the FCC, demonstrates that the new spectrum plan, involving the lower 10 MHz channel, still raises issues for high-precision GPS receivers that feature a wideband design. As I mentioned, NOAA participated in this testing. Specifically, we provided five different wideband receivers that are representative of the equipment in use at NOAA for high-precision positioning. During the tests, four out of the five models failed when subjected to only the lower 10 MHz LightSquared channel.

http://www.pnt.gov/public/2011/09/sciencecommittee/glackin.shtml

Again, do you have anything to back you up?

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 6:42 PM

4

What’s wrong with allowing them to sue the lower portion of their 1525-1559 band????

blink on September 16, 2011 at 8:40 PM

I’ve answered multiple times.

The proposed use of the lower band has been tried. It did not work. I did answer your question, more than twice. Read the NOAA quotes above.

The “lower portion” proposal was submitted June 30th, it was tested and does not work. LINK

The FCC sent the “lower portion” off to the trash heap on September 13th. BECAUSE IT DID NOT WORK! ALSO LINKED ABOVE.

—————

Again, still looking for any relevant link from you.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Their speculating. Maybe the fix won’t work. Are you definitively claiming that it won’t?

NO, they aren’t.

Lightsquared, Zeta and JPL assembled the system.
The Lower End was tested — did not work
The Upper End was tested — did not work
The Combined System was tested — did not work

NPEF Report – Linked above

The Military set up the complete system
The Lower End was tested — did not work
The Upper End was tested — did not work
The Combined System was tested — did not work

Spacecom and DOD CIO testimony both linked above.

Garmin, Mitre and Trimble all received the data from the civilian testing — they weren’t speculating.

I am definitely claiming that the low end fix does not work. It has been tested, and it does not work. MULTIPLE LINKS ABOVE

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM

I’ll give you a gift.

Here’s the only “fix” left on the table. Technically it won’t even be near the table until next week. It is INDEED pure speculation.

The “fix” — swapping out ALL the high end GPS hardware with new gear.

That is unacceptable, from a cost and a legal perspective.

Here you go:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/14/us-lightsquared-gps-idUSTRE78D7CB20110914

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 10:30 PM

General Shelton needs to resign. If he has no honor, resign. Else, after Sarah becomes president, she should demote him and fire him.

Mirimichi on September 16, 2011 at 11:01 PM

General Shelton needs to resign. If he has no honor, resign. Else, after Sarah becomes president, she should demote him and fire him.

Mirimichi on September 16, 2011 at 11:01 PM

Why do you say this?

General Shelton refused to alter his testimony despite the pressure from the White House.

Jason Coleman on September 16, 2011 at 11:24 PM

blink on September 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM

blink on September 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

LightSquared’s own report to the FCC, demonstrates that the new spectrum plan, involving the lower 10 MHz channel, still raises issues for high-precision GPS receivers that feature a wideband design.

LINKED ABOVE.

Lightsquared has already admitted that the June 30th proposal to utilize just the lower band did not solve the issue. LINKED ABOVE.

That is why, on Wednesday, Lightsquared offered the NEW “fix”, which involves making a new, as yet undiscovered or manufactured, device with an unnamed company, within 90 days. LINKED ABOVE. The FCC granted their request for 90 days. ALSO LINKED ABOVE. Lightsquared says they will announce their partner company next week. ALSO LINKED ABOVE.

Part of the whole reason this flap came up is that the administration wanted the General to say that the military would be ready to test this phantom device in 90 days. He refused. ALSO LINKED ABOVE. . . VIDEO AS WELL.

Jason Coleman on September 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Testimony of Mary Glackin, NOAA

Those testing efforts focused primarily on the original LightSquared broadcasting plan involving two channels, referred to as the upper 10 MHz and lower 10 MHz channels.

But both groups also performed initial testing of LightSquared’s modified spectrum plan involving only the lower 10 MHz channel.

My testimony today will address potential effects of both the original and modified LightSquared spectrum plans, based on our analysis of the empirical test data collected to date.

LINKED ABOVE MORE THAN ONCE.

Jason Coleman on September 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

the middle blockquote should have been -strong- instead of -quote-

http://www.pnt.gov/public/2011/09/sciencecommittee/glackin.shtml

Jason Coleman on September 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

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