February 28, 2007

United States–India Joint Statement

Cooperation in the Use of GPS and Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems and Applications

On the basis of a series of discussions between their representatives and experts, the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India have agreed to a cooperative relationship in use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and space-based regional augmentations to the GPS. The two governments view civil space-based positioning, navigation and timing systems as an area ready for expanded bilateral cooperation.

The GPS is a constellation of orbiting satellites operated by the United States. It provides precise position location, navigation and timing services for civil and military purposes globally. The United States has implemented a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to GPS known as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) for civil aviation and other applications.

Through its GPS/WAAS compatible geo-stationary navigation payloads, India is developing its own space-based augmentation platform called the GPS And GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system. GAGAN will significantly improve air traffic management and regional aircraft operations in South Asia, as well as other civil and commercial applications.

The United States and India have a shared interest in the availability of continuous space-based navigation services, in maintaining space-based services free of direct user fees, for civil, commercial, and scientific uses. The two governments intend to promote interoperability among existing and planned civil space-based navigation services, thereby fostering the creation of a truly international Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

To advance this shared interest, the two governments will work closely together to facilitate broad and effective use of WAAS and GAGAN as civil space-based regional augmentations to the GPS. They will also cooperate in establishing international mechanisms such as the planned International Committee on GNSS (ICG) to promote the use of GNSS, particularly in developing countries. Specifically, the United States and India will pursue the following activities:

  1. Perfecting the use of GPS augmentations to include jointly characterizing and mitigating the ionosphere threats, as well as working towards certification and testing of GAGAN;
  2. Promote broader utilization of space-based augmentations to GPS such as WAAS and GAGAN for mutual benefit (for instance -- reference frame modification, precise timing applications, space weather observations, and climate monitoring);
  3. Encourage continued support to the International GPS Service (IGS), a global system of reference stations and analysis centers that can facilitate implementation of interoperable regional space-based civil augmentations to the GPS.
  4. Coordinate radio frequency spectrum used by GNSS through appropriate international spectrum management and regulatory processes including interference related issues;
  5. Encourage free access to information necessary to develop and build the next generation dual system or multi-system GNSS receivers;
  6. Promote studies on compatibility and interoperability of regional space-based GPS augmentation systems at selected research institutes and related laboratories in the United States and India;
  7. Encourage development of innovative region-specific value-added goods and services based on applications of compatible regional space-based GPS augmentation systems.

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