11 thoughts on “Paging Richard Easton”

  1. Interesting segue from protecting animals to the subject of free trade! Hope he stays focused.

    Read an interesting article last night by Daniel Hannan last night describing him as the cleverest person he’s ever known. That’s something if he uses his intelligence as has the Donald: get the important things done first.

    In any case, this will be an interesting ride for all of us!

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  2. The question of the European Galileo navigation satellite system has been a sticking point in the Brexit negotiations from the very start.  Of the total of €10 billion spent so far, the UK has put up €1.4 billion.  The EU demanded that the UK be excluded from access to the high-precision “Public regulated navigation” service (equivalent to the GPS military signal) and, in essence, lose its entire investment in the system, being allowed to use only the free commercial navigation service.

    In August 2018 a news report said that Britain was planning its own navigation satellite system, and in December 2018 Theresa May said that the UK had abandoned its attempts to reclaim the investment in Galileo.  Boris Johnson’s statement is consistent with this policy.

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  3. John Walker:
    The question of the European Galileo navigation satellite system has been a sticking point in the Brexit negotiations from the very start.  Of the total of €10 billion spent so far, the UK has put up €1.4 billion.  The EU demanded that the UK be excluded from access to the high-precision “Public regulated navigation” service (equivalent to the GPS military signal) and, in essence, lose its entire investment in the system, being allowed to use only the free commercial navigation service.

    In August 2018 a news report said that Britain was planning its own navigation satellite system, and in December 2018 Theresa May said that the UK had abandoned its attempts to reclaim the investment in Galileo.  Boris Johnson’s statement is consistent with this policy.

    With four worldwide GNSS, I don’t see any reason why Britain needs to build another one.  I have a story about the military signal. A contact was at a meeting between the AF and the NSA. The AF was touting the security of the military signal. An NSA person replied that they broke these types of signals online. The British could supplement the GNSSs by putting one or two satellites in geosynchronous orbits near the Prime Meridian. This is what the Japanese and Indians are doing (at the longitude of their countries).

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  4. John Walker:
    The EU demanded that the UK be excluded from access to the high-precision “Public regulated navigation” service (equivalent to the GPS military signal)

    I thought that GPS Selective Availability ended about 20 years ago. I’ve found the accuracy available to be quite satisfactory. Even if the US were to return to SA, surely we would share the better precision with our closest ally, if not with the rest of Europe. Britain leaving the EU would seem to make that more likely. Seems to me that precision and accuracy on the order of a couple of meters is plenty good enough (and much better for differential GPS).

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  5. drlorentz:
    I thought that GPS Selective Availability ended about 20 years ago.

    This isn’t about the accuracy of Selective Availability, but rather the security of the military signals.  GPS satellites broadcast an “M-code” signal, which is encrypted and restricted to military use.  Here is a document about the M-code design [PDF].  The goal seems not to be improved accuracy but rather resistance to jamming and spoofing to which the civilian signals are vulnerable.  Also, having a separate military signal provides the option to disable the civilian signal in the case of a crisis or to jam it without impairing military use.

    I don’t know the details of the Galileo “Public regulated navigation” service, but I suspect it has similar goals.  The Wikipedia page says of it, “Continuous availability even if other services are disabled in time of crisis. Government agencies will be main users.”

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  6. John Walker:

    drlorentz:
    I thought that GPS Selective Availability ended about 20 years ago.

    This isn’t about the accuracy of Selective Availability, but rather the security of the military signals.  GPS satellites broadcast an “M-code” signal, which is encrypted and restricted to military use.  Here is a document about the M-code design [PDF].  The goal seems not be improved accuracy but rather resistance to jamming and spoofing to which the civilian signals are vulnerable.  Also, having a separate military signal provides the option to disable the civilian signal in the case of a crisis or to jam it without impairing military use.

    I don’t know the details of the Galileo “Public regulated navigation” service, but I suspect it has similar goals.  The Wikipedia page says of it, “Continuous availability even if other services are disabled in time of crisis. Government agencies will be main users.”

    Thanks for the explanation. My point stands that the US could (perhaps already does) provide Britain with this service today, independently of the EU. Brexit makes this more likely, along with all other cooperation in the area of security. After all, would you want to share your secrets with the French and Germans? How about the Bulgarians?

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  7. Perhaps the UK should instead rebuild the Royal Navy to be sufficiently threatening to Iran.

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