MONDAY, AUGUST 22, 2011
The nation’s newest Global Positioning System satellite has completed its post-launch checkout and entered service in the orbiting constellation.
The Air Force’s GPS 2F-2 spacecraft was boosted into orbit July 16 from Cape Canaveral atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket.
Controllers have spent the past month getting the Boeing-built satellite prepped to transmit precision navigation and timing information to users across the planet.
“This next-generation GPS 2F satellite has been set healthy and is ready to begin providing a strong, clear and secure signal,” said Air Force Col. Bernard Gruber, director of the GPS Directorate. “The Air Force and allied military forces around the world use GPS devices in virtually every system to improve their capabilities and effectiveness while reducing risk to the warfighter.”
The 50th Space Wing’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado took command of the satellite on August 19 to add GPS 2F-2 into the operational network.
“We’re extremely honored to accept command and control of the second GPS 2F satellite,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Grant, 2 SOPS commander. “We look forward to continuing to provide our warfighters and civil users with the most accurate position, navigation, and timing signal available in the history of GPS. We are proud to be the world’s gold standard.”
This is the second satellite in the Block 2F series of GPS spacecraft with improved accuracy, enhanced internal atomic clocks, better anti-jam resistance, a civil signal for commercial aviation and a longer design life. Boeing is building a dozen craft to upgrade the constellation’s foundation over the coming years.
“GPS is deeply woven into everyday life and is the foundation of global, civil, commercial and defense applications for more than 1 billion users worldwide,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. “Boeing has a long legacy of support on the GPS program to the U.S. Air Force, and the delivery of this new 2F satellite augments the constellation’s ability to provide highly accurate, three-dimensional position, velocity and timing information 24 hours a day in all weather conditions.”