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Contingency Ops, GPS III SV02 receive Operational Acceptance from USSF

March 30, 2020  - By
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A ULA Delta IV rocket carrying GPS III SV02 lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 on Aug. 22. (Photo: ULA)

A ULA Delta IV rocket carrying GPS III SV02 lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 on Aug. 22. (Photo: ULA)

The Space and Missile Systems Center achieved a major GPS milestone on March 27 with the Contingency Operations (COps) program and GPS III Space Vehicle (SV) 02, both of which received U.S. Space Force’s Operational Acceptance approval.

COps is an upgrade to the current GPS Operational Control System to operationally command and control GPS III satellites. These satellites are the newest generation built by Lockheed Martin, providing precise positioning, navigation and timing information with three times better accuracy, and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capability than previous generations of GPS satellites.

The first GPS III satellite, SV01, was launched on Dec. 23, 2018, and achieved Operational Acceptance on Jan. 2, 2020. USSF made SV01 available for use by military and civilian users for critical missions worldwide on Jan. 13.

Operating in a trial period since October 2019, COps supports developmental testing of the GPS III ground and space capabilities. The trial period culminated in a fully mission capable rating from the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center’s Operational Utility Evaluation conducted on the new GPS III satellite and COps upgrade. This event successfully completed on Feb. 20.

Subsequently, GPS Operational Control System and COps received the second GPS III satellite — SV02, nicknamed “Magellan” — which the Space and Missile Systems Center launched on Aug. 22, 2019.

“The COps and GPS III SV02 Operational Acceptance marks another major milestone for the GPS enterprise and presents a clear picture that the Department of Defense is moving to the future,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Toth, 2nd Space Operations Squadron commander. “Of all the programs that will be delivered this year, there are few that carry with it as significant an impact to the warfighter and civilian users as this program will. This is truly a remarkable leap forward for the GPS enterprise and the capability it provides, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team that came together to make it happen.”

Photo: ULA

Photo: ULA

A ULA Delta IV rocket carrying GPS III SV02 lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 on Aug. 22. (Photo: ULA)

A ULA Delta IV rocket carrying GPS III SV02 lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 on Aug. 22. (Photo: ULA)

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