Trump directs agencies to strengthen resilience of PNT services

By Justin Doubleday / February 12, 2020 at 3:21 PM

President Trump is directing federal agencies to strengthen the resiliency of Positioning, Navigation and Timing services, including through new contracting language.

In an executive order released today, Trump notes PNT services "have become a largely invisible utility" for a wide variety of technologies, functions and critical infrastructure like the electrical power grid, mobile devices, weather forecasting, and emergency response.

"Because of the widespread adoption of PNT services, the disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States," Trump writes.

He directs the Commerce Department to lead an interagency process to develop "PNT profiles" within the next year.

"The PNT profiles will enable the public and private sectors to identify systems, networks, and assets dependent on PNT services; identify appropriate PNT services; detect the disruption and manipulation of PNT services; and manage the associated risks to the systems, networks, and assets dependent on PNT services," according to the executive order.

He further directs the profiles to be reviewed and updated as needed every two years.

Ninety days after the PNT profiles are made available, Trump directs the Department of Homeland Security to lead the development of "contractual language for inclusion of the relevant information from the PNT profiles in the requirements for federal contracts for products, systems, and services that integrate or utilize PNT services, with the goal of encouraging the private sector to use additional PNT services and develop new robust and secure PNT services."

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council is then directed to incorporate the requirements "into federal contracts for products, systems, and services that integrate or use PNT services."

Meanwhile, the Defense Science Board is in the midst of studying PNT resilience, as well as capabilities to improve the Defense Department's ability to "deny and confound" other space-based PNT systems.