World News: Boeing completes GPS ground station test

World News:  Boeing completes GPS ground station test

Boeing has successfully completed a live demonstration of the GPS ground station, which, when fully operational, will control the 32 GPS satellites now in orbit as well as those that will join the fleet in the coming months.

Boeing is under contract to migrate the current GPS ground control system to a distributed Unix-based system beginning in April 2007.

The system currently being tested is known as the Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP), and is the largest and most complex upgrade in the thirty-year history of the GPS program.

According to GPS program director John Duddy, the live navigation mission met or exceeded all GPS performance requirements.

The AEP system conducted a three-hour contact of a Block IIR satellite in the new Master Control Station at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The ground station sent test commands, navigation updates and verified the contents of the satellite's memory. It then monitored the return telemetry. The AEP system provides enhanced operator capabilities and supports Boeing's upcoming GPS IIF constellation.

Boeing is building twelve GPS Block IIF satellites under contract from the GPS Wing at the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Centre in Los Angeles, and expects to deliver the first satellite in 2007.

Block IIF spacecraft are expected to carry new capabilities such as full onboard encrypted military code, a new civil signal known as L-5, crosslink enhancements, signal power increases and greater design life.

Through its work on GPS IIF and its preliminary design work for the upcoming GPS III competition, Boeing is working closely with the US Air Force to deliver new, advanced GPS capabilities to the military, civil government and the general public as early as possible.

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