Northrop Grumman prototype ground control system successfully controls GPS test satellite

RESTON, Va., 2 Feb. 2009. Northrop Grumman Corp. has successfully demonstrated command and control of a Global Positioning System (GPS) IIR-M satellite using its Next Generation Operational Control Segment (OCX) engineering model.

Feb 2nd, 2009

RESTON, Va., 2 Feb. 2009.Northrop Grumman Corp. has successfully demonstrated command and control of a Global Positioning System (GPS) IIR-M satellite using its Next Generation Operational Control Segment (OCX) engineering model.

The OCX modernization effort will provide mission enterprise control support for the nation's existing GPS Block II and future Block III satellites. The GPS control segment includes satellite command and control, mission planning, constellation management, monitoring stations, and ground antennas.

The Northrop Grumman team used its GPS OCX Modernized Capability Engineering Model (MCEM) to successfully command and control a satellite test simulator located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., from a Northrop Grumman plant in Redondo Beach, Calif., Northrop Grumman officials say.

The Air Force provided the Northrop Grumman team a data set embedded with several anomalies that posed a threat to GPS system performance. The team initiated contact with the test satellite and commanded it through a series of procedures that demonstrated the ability to restore mission operations and the delivery of highly accurate position and time information for GPS users. The Northrop Grumman team successfully controlled a new secure military signal that will substantially improve the availability of accurate GPS data to U.S. forces.

"The Air Force used the MCEM to challenge industry to prove our approach and our team against realistic GPS operational scenarios. I'm pleased to report that our best-of-industry team hit all the marks on schedule, both in terms of the demonstration itself and the products and processes we proved along the way," says Steve Bergjans, Northrop Grumman vice president and GPS OCX program manager.

The Northrop Grumman OCX team includes Harris Corp., Melbourne Fla.; Integral Systems Inc., Lanham, Md.; Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services of Gaithersburg, Md., and Infinity Systems Engineering of Colorado Springs, Colo.

"Each teammate played a decisive role as both technical leader and technical contributor at different phases of the 13-month MCEM development," Bergjans says. "The MCEM was a compelling demonstration of this team's commitment to meeting the Air Force's vision for a modernized GPS enterprise on schedule, on cost."

Under the 18-month contract, Northrop Grumman's Team OCX is providing systems engineering and integration; architecture design; communications and network engineering; information assurance and security; modeling and simulation; network management; software development; support, maintenance and implementation; and test and evaluation.

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