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News > Air Force Completes Transition of GPS Fleet to Upgraded Control System
 
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Navstar Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of orbiting satellites that provides navigation data to military and civilian users all over the world. The system is operated and controlled by members of the 50th Space Wing, located at Schriever AFB, Colo.
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Air Force Completes Transition of GPS Fleet to Upgraded Control System

Posted 9/17/2007   Updated 9/17/2007 Email story   Print story

    


Release Number: 010907

9/17/2007 - Los Angeles Air Force Base -- The Air Force completed a four-phase transition of the Global Positioning System ground segment to the new Architecture Evolution Plan on Sept. 14. AEP was delivered by the Space and Missile Systems Center's GPS Wing to the 50th Space Wing to replace the legacy 1970s-era mainframe computer at Schriever AFB, Colo.

SMC managed the development, integration and test with the Boeing Company, who led a joint Boeing-Lockheed Martin contractor team, to design and build the new system. The transition was executed by the 2nd Space Operations Squadron from the 50th Space Wing and the 19th Space Operations Squadron from the 310th Space Group.

The ground segment provides command and control of the satellites and generates the navigation message for satellites to broadcast to users so they can determine their position on the earth. The new control segment is a critical part of an overall modernization plan to improve operations, sustainment, and overall GPS service.

Lieutenant General Michael Hamel, Space and Missile Systems Center Commander and Program Executive Officer for Space, oversaw AEP development and preparations for the transition. "AEP will usher in a new era of continuously improving mission performance and provide a foundation to incorporate new capabilities in the future. The system enables upgrades for controlling the new GPS Block IIF satellites. In the future AEP will also provide a new security architecture supporting troops fighting the global war on terrorism. The new control segment is a key part of an overall modernization plan to improve operations, sustainment and enhance global GPS service."

Upon completion of the transition to AEP, the system will enter a multi-month operational evaluation period. Headquarters Air Force Space Command will accept this enhanced capability upon successful completion of the evaluation.

Colonel Teresa Djuric, 50th Space Wing Commander is responsible for daily GPS operations and oversaw the transition. "The team that guided this operational transition from the legacy GPS ground segment to AEP set the standard for fielding space systems. The team executed the mission in a disciplined and accountable manner to ensure GPS users worldwide were unaffected by this ground segment transition - our Airman continue to perform this mission flawlessly."

Colonel Dave Madden, GPS Wing Commander, is preparing to field more capabilities using AEP. "While it's never easy to field a new system, this Air Force team, along with contractors from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and The Aerospace Corporation, executed the plan perfectly. This new system lays the foundation for GPS success, with a modernized infrastructure that will allow dramatic improvements of GPS capabilities supporting our military and civil users around the world."

GPS is the world's premier space-based positioning, navigation, and timing system supporting land, sea, and airborne navigation for military and civilian users worldwide. The system is comprised of up to 32 satellites on orbit which broadcast a navigation message to users worldwide.

The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and space situational awareness capabilities. SMC manages more than $60 billion in contracts, has an annual operating budget of $10 billion and employs more than 6,800 people worldwide.

For GPS AEP acquisition and development questions, e-mail the Los Angeles AFB Public Affairs Office at: smcpa.media@losangeles.af.mil.

For GPS AEP operational questions contact the Schriever AFB Public Affairs Office at (719) 567-5448



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