Space Force enhances GPS ground communications for greater resiliency

December 19, 2022  - By

Modernized communications lines were installed at seven locations worldwide in an overhaul of the global communications network that provides command and control of the GPS constellation.

Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands is one of seven locations that received a GPS communications network overhaul.(Photo: USGS)

Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands is one of seven locations that received a GPS communications network overhaul.(Photo: USGS)

From 2018 to 2022, GPS Product Support Delta — in conjunction with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) — performed a complete overhaul of the global communications network required to provide command and control of the GPS satellite constellation. GPS Product Support Delta is under Space Systems Command of the U.S. Space Force.

The project, called GPS Operations Network Enhancements (GONE), connected multi-protocol label switching internet protocol (IP)-based routers to modernized communications lines at seven key GPS facilities, replacing older serial lines.


“With the GONE project completed, we are seeing a 75 percent reduction in communication line interruptions.”


The GONE initiative “has significantly enhanced communications for GPS weapon systems,” said Brian Botka, Product Support Delta GPS program manager.

“These upgrades not only increase communications speed and reduce overall down-time and adding a new paradigm in network resiliency with the networks capable of recovering in mere seconds from an outage or issue,” said Sean Foley, DISA technical project manager. “The system upgrades will continue to improve service to the warfighter as well as enable increased resiliency and network diversity for DISA.”

The modernized communications lines were installed at

  • Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado
  • Vandenberg SFB, California
  • Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida
  • Facilities in Hawaii, Ascension Island, Diego Garcia and Kwajalein Atoll.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these locations were under strict lockdown or required long quarantine periods, making coordination and travel to remote locations more challenging.

Lockheed Martin was the contractor who supported Product Support Delta GPS on the GONE project. “This was a collaborative effort with Product Support Delta GPS and DISA that required significant logistical efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christina Mancinelli, Lockheed Martin GPS Ground Programs director.

“With the GONE project completed, we are seeing a 75 percent reduction in communication line interruptions, and we expect that metric to continue to improve,” Mancinelli said. “The migration of the GPS communication lines to the modern MPLS [multiprotocol label switching] routers and Ethernet-based connections continues the significant improvements in GPS ground capability, cybersecurity and reliability.”

SSC is the USSF field command responsible for rapidly identifying, prototyping, and fielding resilient space capabilities for joint warfighters. It delivers sustainable joint space warfighting capabilities to defend the nation and its allies while disrupting adversaries in the contested space domain.

SSC mission areas include launch acquisition and operations; space domain awareness; positioning, navigation, and timing; missile warning; satellite communication; and cross-mission ground, command and control and data.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.