Deere: LightSquared Causing Massive GPS Interference

Deere & Co., a major provider of precision agriculture equipment and services, notified the FCC May 26 of substantial interference with its GPS receivers by the LightSquared signal. Deere receivers registered impact of and interference by the LightSquared signal as far away as 22 miles from a transmitter. Further, the company has found no practicable technical solution to the problem. Deere met with an FCC legal advisor to report on its analysis of recent New Mexico tests of the Lightsquared signal and effects on GPS equipment.

The U.S. military conducted anechoic chamber tests at a White Sands facility and open-air tests at Holloman Air Force Base in April. The tests, which simulated various cellular base station transmission schemes proposed by LightSquared in L-band frequencies between 1525-1559 MHz, without exception demonstrated severe interference to Deere’s high-precision GPS receivers.

The tests included configurations where the simulated emission was reduced in bandwidth and/or assigned to frequencies in the lower part of the L-band. The Deere presentation contains an interesting graphic showing how high-precision receivers are more affected by the proposed LightSquared signals than are consumer grade receivers. The reasons:

  • Modern high-precision receivers use filters that cover MSS, GPS, and GLONASS bands
  • Wideband filters are required for higher rate, precision codes

Deere owns NavCom Technology and operates the StarFire Network, a global satellite-based augmentation system providing decimeter positioning accuracy on a worldwide basis, enabling users to roam freely while maintaining precise positioning information. The Starfire service and GPS equipment are used in precision agriculture and other applications of precise machine control, survey (land and air), marine navigation, unmanned vehicles, and continuously operating reference stations, among other applications.

Deere explained that, in the course of its technical analysis, the company’s engineers have determined that there is currently no practicable technical solution, or solutions in combination, available to avoid or substantially mitigate interference from LightSquared’s base stations to Deere’s existing precision GPS system and to similar systems operated by others, particularly in the agriculture and construction industries.

Deere also confirmed that while there are important potential mitigation strategies that may be worth exploring with respect to future generations of GPS receivers, no single interference mechanism — such as repositioning LightSquared’s operating frequencies, modestly reducing transmitter power, and so on — and no combination thereof, has been examined such that it can be deemed to provide meaningful protection for precision farming operations essential to today’s U.S. agricultural sector. Similarly, no potentially effective mitigation solution, alone or in combination, has been examined such that it can be deemed to protect other precision GPS users in the construction sector or GPS in other applications.

Deere emphasized that, based on this data and analysis, permitting LightSquared to operate its network as proposed or any variant of its currently proposed network will create massive interference into Deere’s StarFire system and other similar systems risking serious harm to the U.S. agriculture industry.

Deere expressed its support for expanding wireless broadband services, particularly in rural areas, so long as initiatives to provide new wireless service do not compromise critical and irreplaceable GPS and/or space-to-earth MSS services essential to the nation’s agricultural community.

Deere suggested that, in the absence of short-term solutions, should the Commission decide to pursue a new use of L-Band spectrum as a long-term option, the Commission should do so in Commission rulemaking proceedings allowing for full public input, technical examination, product and development time, and appropriate testing. Given the critical importance of the L-Band interference to Deere’s agricultural (and other customers), Deere would expect to participate in such proceedings.

(Source: GPS World)

Leave a Reply

Precision Ag Stories

ScoutPro iPad
Precision AgWhat’s Trending In Soil Testing And Scouting
April 6, 2016
Keeping up on soil testing and scouting, especially following unusual weather conditions, can play a role in maximizing yields. Soil Read More
EquipmentDTN Launches Ag Retailer Focused Data Management Program
April 5, 2016
As farm data multiplies exponentially, ag retailers need help leveraging the power of big data to better serve their customers Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
EquipmentDeere’s Acquisition of Hagie: 3 Things We Learned
March 29, 2016
It seems like the biggest news stories in agriculture always break on a Tuesday. Today John Deere announced it had Read More
HerbicidesPrecision Ag, Weed Control Practices Both Key In Herbicide Resistance Fight
March 15, 2016
Integrating precision ag technology with long-time weed control practices may allow producers to increase weed control effectiveness, reports Loretta Sorensen Read More
Trending Articles
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
HerbicidesHerbicide Resistance In Waterhemp Continues To Grow
April 22, 2016
Twenty-five years ago, waterhemp was virtually unknown to Illinois farmers. Today, the broadleaf weed blankets corn and soybean fields across Read More
Eric SfiligojBiotech Corn Drop More Economics Vs. Consumer Rejection
April 18, 2016
Since their introduction into the agricultural marketplace, biotech crops has steadily grown in acreage in the countries of the world Read More
Crop InputsBayer: 5 Reasons We Disagree With Maryland Neonic Ban
April 12, 2016
We’re disappointed that the Maryland legislature chose not to stand up for sound science and the rights of Maryland’s homeowners Read More
Corn
OpinionChallenging Global Economic Conditions Putting More Heat On U.S. Ag Retailers
April 7, 2016
There it is. That vague, slightly sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. Things are getting weird out there. Read More
Latest News
Patriot 4440 Sprayer close up
ManagementFlashing Back And Moving Forward On Spray Drift
May 3, 2016
The potential for pesticide drift remains an unavoidable feature of modern agriculture. Here, too, history repeats itself. “When Roundup debuted, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesSurvey Provides Insights On Giant Ragweed In The Corn B…
May 2, 2016
A new survey published in the journal Weed Science offers insights into the distribution and management of giant ragweed, a Read More
Truck dumping dry fertilizer
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics Q&A: Southern States’ Joe Wlod…
May 2, 2016
Joe Wlodkoski, Director of Agronomy Procurement, Fertilizer, Southern States Cooperative, is a 40-plus year fertilizer industry veteran. He is quite Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
West Central Dome structure
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics 2016: All Clear, So Far
May 1, 2016
After a relatively hairy early start to the spring fertilizer movement season with flooding in Louisiana and St. Louis, things Read More
BAICOR
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Utah Specialty Fertilizer Company
April 28, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty ag products, has acquired a majority interest in BAICOR, L.C. BAICOR, Read More
Soybean field
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Adds Vice President Of Business…
April 28, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences has announced the addition of Marc Treurniet to the plant health and nutrition company’s management team. Treurniet Read More
ManagementBiotech Crops Developments and Millennials
April 28, 2016
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf talk about the latest activities in biotech crops and a major shift in the Read More
Industry NewsNachurs-Alpine, Pathway Biologic Extend Marketing Agree…
April 28, 2016
Nachurs-Alpine Solutions (Marion, OH) and Pathway Biologic (Plant City, FL) announce an extension to their exclusive marketing agreement specific to Read More
MicronutrientsCharah Add Three Warehouses For SUL4R-PLUS Fertilizer
April 28, 2016
Charah, Inc., a total solutions company providing unparalleled service and innovation for the coal-fired power generation industry, announced today that Read More
Spenser Forgey, Yahama Fortix
FungicidesIndiana Farmer Wins Arysta LifeScience FORTIX Fungicide…
April 28, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently presented Spenser Forgey, a grower from Young America, IN, with a new 2016 Yamaha Grizzly Read More
Corn Field
HerbicidesNew Wilbur‐Ellis Herbicide Targets Volunteer Corn
April 28, 2016
Wilbur‐Ellis Co., a recognized leader in marketing and distribution of crop protection products, as well as precision agriculture technology, has Read More
StewardshipNRCS To Help Farmers Measure Conservation Impacts On Wa…
April 27, 2016
The USDA has announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as Read More
Planter in Iowa
EquipmentTop 10 Twitter Pics For #Plant16
April 27, 2016
Despite some wet weather in parts of the Midwest, growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s Read More
HerbicidesHELM AGRO Launches New HELM Sulfentrazone 4F Herbicide
April 26, 2016
HELM AGRO US, Inc. has announced the federal Section 3 registration of its new HELM Sulfentrazone 4F herbicide. Classified as a Read More
Valley Irrigation Valley 8000 series on corn
EquipmentValley Irrigation Receives Environmental Stewardship Ho…
April 26, 2016
Valley Irrigation has been recognized as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site by the Groundwater Foundation. The Groundwater Guardian Green Site Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
HerbicidesHerbicide Resistance In Waterhemp Continues To Grow
April 22, 2016
Twenty-five years ago, waterhemp was virtually unknown to Illinois farmers. Today, the broadleaf weed blankets corn and soybean fields across Read More