9 Little known coastal DGPS stations to vanish
Driving down Florida 59 from Crestview to Eglin AFB, just before you cross Duke Field and the new base for the 7th Special Forces Group, you pass a nondescript brown sign for “USCG DGPS” which leads to a single lane drive and a small installation made up of one short building and a decent antenna. Another is hiding out in Key West near Trumbo.
Both are set to decomm along with seven others.
The Coast Guard published a notice back in 2015 seeking public comments on the proposed shutdown and decommissioning of 62 the then-existing 84 Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS) sites, and after public feedback is doing away with 28 Department of Transportation inland sites and nine coastal ones including the two mentioned specifically above and:
Cold Bay, AK
Saginaw Bay, MI
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Officials argue the sites just aren’t needed anymore.
“With the numerous navigation tools available, we determined that this reduction in NDGPS sites does not pose a risk to the mariner,” said Cmdr. Justin Kimura from the Coast Guard Physical Aids to Navigation and Position, Navigation and Timing Division in a statement. “Mariner safety and situational awareness are our top priorities and these site closures will not affect that.”
Each site is also a Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) data source.
One downside is that in addition to their nav-aide purpose, the DGPS reference stations continually measure water vapor in the atmosphere above the antenna, which is useful for weather forecasts, especially in the hurricane-prone Gulf of Mexico. Hopefully those met stations will be moved elsewhere.
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