EL SEGUNDO, Calif., 27 June 2009. Boeing has shipped a Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to conduct a series of tests for the U.S. Air Force's next-generation satellite navigation system.
Built at Boeing's El Segundo satellite factory, Space Vehicle 2 (SV-2) is undergoing ground testing to prepare for the launch of SV-1, the first of 12 GPS IIF satellites, reveals a representative.
SV-2 arrived at Cape Canaveral May 7 aboard a C-17 Globemaster III.
SV-2 is being used to execute a consolidated system test (CST), a set of one-time, system-level design validation tests involving the space vehicle, the ground-based control segment, and user equipment.
SV-2 is being used as a "pathfinder" to validate satellite transportation processes and equipment, and to validate the launch site test program, procedures, and equipment. After completion of the CST and pathfinder activities, SV-2 will return to El Segundo to prepare for its own launch from the Cape.
"The shipment of this pathfinder satellite keeps GPS IIF on track for its first launch, and continues Boeing's history of building GPS satellites for the U.S. Air Force," says Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The GPS IIF system will bring more capability and improved mission performance to the GPS constellation."
GPS IIF is the product of Boeing's experience with 39 satellites from the GPS Block I and Block II/IIA missions and more than 30 years of teamwork with the Air Force. GPS IIF features twice the navigational accuracy of heritage satellites, more robust signals for commercial aviation and search and rescue, and greater resistance to jamming in hostile environments, says a representative.
GPS is a space-based, worldwide navigation system providing users with accurate, three-dimensional position, velocity, and timing information 24 hours a day in all weather conditions.