National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems Engineering Forum


This document constitutes the Charter for the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Systems Engineering Forum, hereafter referred to as the NPEF, and describes the background, scope, functions, and membership of the NPEF.


In December 2004, the President established a new national policy (National Policy) addressing space-based PNT programs for U.S. national and homeland security, civil, scientific, and commercial purposes. The policy created the National Executive Committee for Space-Based PNT (National EXCOM) and the National Coordination Office for Space-Based PNT (NCO) to advise and coordinate with and among the Departments and Agencies responsible for the strategic decisions regarding policies, architectures, requirements, and resource allocation for maintaining and improving U.S. space-based PNT infrastructures. Subsequently, an Executive Steering Group (ESG) was established (via National EXCOM Charter amendment) to perform tasks, build consensus and resolve issues on behalf of the National EXCOM. Both the National EXCOM and ESG are co-chaired by the Departments of Defense and Transportation at the deputy and Under/Assistant Secretary levels respectively.


The NPEF is established and chartered as a permanent working group under the auspices of the NCO to provide a forum for analysis and discussion of systems engineering issues and technology development opportunities relative to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and GPS augmentation systems. The forum is a framework for interagency communication, and shall not operate as a separate entity outside of the departments/agencies represented or as an interagency entity as that term is used in any recurring provision limiting funding of interagency entities, such as section 708 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, P.L. 112-74.

The NPEF will address systems engineering and technology issues and potential opportunities that affect civil, joint, or international use and development of the U.S. space-based PNT system-of-systems architecture. The scope of the NPEF includes GPS, GPS augmentations, and related technical areas consistent with the National Policy goals and objectives. The NPEF will develop technical recommendations by consensus of its membership. If consensus cannot be achieved, options will be provided to the NCO for resolution to include National EXCOM involvement if warranted. The activities and recommendations of the NPEF will not impair or otherwise affect the authorities of member Departments and Agencies under applicable law.

Functions / Funding

Subject to one or more of the member Department or Agencies using its own resources and mission authority to the extent legally available, and/or using reimbursable funding from the NCO, taskings of the NPEF will address one or more of the following areas:

Participation and Membership

Technical representatives from all member Departments and Agencies of the National EXCOM are encouraged to participate in the activities of the NPEF.

The NPEF will be co-chaired by representatives from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The co-chairs of the NPEF will be separately selected by DOD and the DOT, in coordination with senior executives of those departments / agencies having responsibility for U.S. space-based PNT services. The NCO will ensure the ESG and EXCOM are made aware of all NPEF reports and unresolved issues as appropriate.

Membership includes:

  • Department of State (State)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of the Interior
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • United States Air Force (USAF)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • United States Coast Guard (USCG)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • United States Naval Observatory (USNO)
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Other Federal Departments and Agencies deemed appropriate by the co-chairs

Invited Participants (as deemed appropriate by co-chairs).

  • Non-Government Technical Experts
  • Others, as required

The co-chairs may invite subject area experts to participate in the NPEF as deemed necessary. The NPEF may also form ad hoc sub-groups as necessary to assist in completing its required functions.


The NPEF shall meet as required. Ad hoc sub-groups of the NPEF will meet as necessary to address issues as determined by the NPEF co-chairs. Meeting locations will be determined by the co-chairs.

Amendment and Termination

This Charter may be terminated by either signatory, or may be amended by the mutual written consent of the undersigned or their successors. A minimum of 90 days advance notice of proposed termination will be provided. This Charter will expire on December 31, 2017, unless extended by mutual agreement of the signatories.

Effective Date

This Charter shall become effective upon the latest signature date of the undersigned.

/signature of Teresa M. Takai/
Teresa M. Takai
Chief Information Officer
Department of Defense

Date: 10/29/13

/signature of Gregory D. Winfree/
Gregory D. Winfree, Esq.
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
Department of Transportation

Date: 10/23/13

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