LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. — The U.S. Air Force Global Positioning Systems Wing and Boeing successfully delaivered GPS IIF space vehicle one (SV-1) to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Feb. 12. This is a significant milestone for the program as it progresses towards the scheduled launch in May 2010.
The GPS IIF satellites, developed and built by Boeing, are the next generation of GPS space vehicles. Designed to improve capability of the system while maintaining backwards compatibility for military and civilian users worldwide, the GPS IIF satellites offer improved accuracy through advanced atomic clocks, a longer design life than previous GPS satellites, and a new operational civil signal on a third frequency. This new L5 signal is a second signal for aviation and other safety of life users in a protected frequency band providing increased availability and accuracy.
The GPS Wing and Boeing team will press forward with their strong focus on mission assurance as SV-1 continues with post-shipment checkout with the 45th Space Wing, end-to-end system testing with the 50th Space Wing’s Master Control Station in Colorado, and integration with the Delta IV booster provided by the United Launch Alliance under contract to the Launch and Range Systems Wing.
The U.S Air Force and Air Force Space Command have been the diligent stewards of GPS since its conception in the 1970s and continue their commitment to this critical component of our National Infrastructure. The current GPS constellation has
30 operational satellites broadcasting worldwide and continues to boast performance greater than required. The improved signals provided by the twelve GPS IIF satellites as they launch over the next several years will enhance the precise global positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting both the warfighter and the growing civilian needs of our global economy.
The Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force’s center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including six wings and three groups responsible for GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and space situational awareness capabilities.
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