The third of 12 Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites Boeing [NYSE: BA] is building for the U.S. Air Force is ready to make the GPS system even more accurate, reliable and secure after successfully completing final checkout for launch.
SVN-65 is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Oct. 4 at 8:10 a.m. Eastern time aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV vehicle.
"As the GPS IIFs become operational, they are ensuring that the Air Force can meet the current and future needs of both military and civilian users," said Col. Bernie Gruber, director of the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Global Positioning Systems Directorate.
GPS is a global utility providing highly accurate position, navigation and timing services to billions of people around the world. The GPS IIF satellites are sustaining and modernizing the network with a number of enhancements, including improved atomic clock technology, a more jam-resistant military signal and a protected and more powerful civilian signal. The satellites also feature a 12-year design life for long-term service and reduced operating costs.
"Boeing has worked alongside the Air Force for many years to continuously sustain and improve the GPS constellation," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "This new fleet of 12 GPS IIFs will form the core of the GPS constellation for the next decade."
SVN-65 was shipped to the Cape from El Segundo, Calif., on July 9 aboard a Boeing-built C-17 Globemaster III military transport. The satellite has undergone a series of prelaunch tests that validated its operational readiness, including its ability to communicate with the launch site and the Boeing-built Operational Control Segment.
Of the remaining nine GPS IIFs, three are completed and ready to be scheduled for launch as needed while six are in production. The Boeing Satellite Development Center in El Segundo uses an efficient "pulse line" manufacturing process adapted from Boeing commercial airplane assembly techniques.
Source: The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA)
Date: Oct 4, 2012