President Trump issued an executive order Wednesday that the federal government will take steps to ensure that Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services like GPS are not disrupted or manipulated, recognizing that space-based systems have become a “largely invisible utility” for technology and infrastructure such as the electrical power grid, communications infrastructure and emergency response.
“Because of the widespread adoption of PNT services, the disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States. To strengthen national resilience, the Federal Government must foster the responsible use of PNT services by critical infrastructure owners and operators,” the order read.
The order spells out the government’s plan to work with Sector-Specific Agencies to create “PNT profiles” to identify systems, networks, and assets dependent on PNT services; identify appropriate PNT services; detect the disruption and manipulation of PNT services; and manage the associated risks to the systems, networks, and assets dependent on PNT services.
In addition, within one year the Secretary of Homeland Security will develop a plan to test the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems, networks, and assets in the event that PNT services are disrupted or manipulated.
The GPS Innovation Alliance (GPSIA) welcomed the order, and the GPSIA’s Executive Director David Grossman said he looks forward to working with government stakeholders on its implementation.
“Resiliency is among the core attributes that have made GPS the gold standard for delivering positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) functions to our military as well as a wide range of other sectors, including transportation, agriculture, electricity, and finance. Today’s Executive Order represents a crucial next step in ongoing efforts to maintain the security, robustness, and redundancy of PNT capabilities, including GPS, that millions of Americans rely on every day,” Grossman said.