ICG Working Group Takes On Issues

An ad hoc working group has begun sorting through issues surrounding the recent formation of the International Committee on GNSS (ICG).


An ad hoc working group has begun sorting through issues surrounding the recent formation of the International Committee on GNSS (ICG).

A December meeting ended with the status of the group somewhat unresolved as a result of issues raised by Russian and Chinese representatives (Inside GNSS, January/February 2005, “What in the World Is the UN Doing about GNSS?”). The working group was set up to address those issues.

The ICG formed under the auspices of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA) following six years of workshops and outreach efforts to broaden understanding of GNSS technology and applications. The committee seeks to encourage compatibility and interoperability among the various GNSSes, while increasing their use to support sustainable development.

Its first meeting took place March 2, coinciding with the 43rd session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Working group participants selected Ken Hodgkins, deputy director of the U.S. State Department Office of Space and Advanced Technologies, to chair its deliberations.

An ICG information portal, to be established by UN-OOSA, will provide information about GNSS-related activities of ICG members/observers, GNSS applications training, and the development of regional GNSS reference systems. A UN/Zambia/ESA workshop on the applications of GNSS technology in sub-Saharan Africa will be held June 26 to 30 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Participants agreed to submit specific comments or suggestions on the pending issues in the draft ICG terms of reference and on the draft work plan for the next ICG working group meeting will take place June 6.

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