Decision-making guide for the proposed Coast Guard Differential Global Positioning System.
Wilson, Robert J.
Boger, Dan C.
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The Coast Guard has begun an initiative to deploy a nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) to support Coast Guard missions and to enhance maritime safety in harbor navigation. DGPS service is expected to provide accuracy to within ten meters (95% of the time) to suitably equipped vessels. It would do this by broadcasting corrections to GPS navigation satellite signals, thereby improving accuracy by a factor of ten over standard GPS. The primary emphasis of this thesis is to show how decision making and planning for the DGPS project may be aided by comparing technological alternatives using Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA). This method is essentially a means of quantifying effectiveness per dollar of cost. The author consolidates the discussion of key issues within one document, identifies the technical decision criteria, estimates alternative system life-cycle costs, and makes a preliminary finding as to the merits of radiobeacon transmission over a dedicated satellite channel. In order to quantify effectiveness, many performance criteria are consolidated under five figures of merit : accuracy, availability, coverage, integrity, and adaptability. The inclusion of user equipment prices in life-cycle costs proves to be critical to the preliminary finding in favor of the radiobeacon-based alternative. This CEA model is especially suited to decision making in an environment of technological and policy change, since it can be easily refined and updated over the predicted four-year implementation period. (Author)
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