U.S. Air Force accepts delivery of GPS OCX baseline

November 2, 2017  - By
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Image: Raytheon

The GPS Operational Control System’s launch and checkout system will control launch and early orbit operations and the on-orbit checkout of all GPS III satellites. (Image: Raytheon)

The Space and Missile Systems Center announced that the United States Air Force has accepted delivery of the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX) Launch and Checkout System (LCS) baseline from Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems.

Also known as Block 0, LCS demonstrated conformance through test and analysis with all contractual requirements. OCX Block 0 is the foundation for Raytheon’s future Block 1 and 2 delivery, slated for delivery in 2022.

LCS is a fully modernized cyber-secure ground system complete with the computing hardware, operations center workstations, and mission application software necessary to launch the first GPS III satellite into orbit and perform initial on-orbit testing.

LCS forms the basis for the full system delivery, referred to as Block 1, which will provide higher accuracy and globally deployed modernized receivers, to ensure anti-jam capability for military users. It will also provide control of both legacy and modernized satellites and signals, including the new international L1C and modernized Military Code.

Currently, mission operators are utilizing LCS as part of the GPS III Mission Readiness Campaign. The ground system is performing as expected during the rehearsals and space vehicle checkout, giving the Air Force confidence in its readiness to support launch and on-orbit operations.

OCX has had numerous challenges delaying the delivery of this critical capability, and this delivery marks a significant program milestone providing the Air Force with a cyber-hardened ground system to support the launch and on-orbit checkout of the GPS III satellites.

“This is a major milestone for the program, and it keeps the U.S. Air Force on track to launch the first modernized GPS satellite into space next year,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “We have strong forward momentum on the program, and we will deliver the full capability in 2021.”

The first launch of a GPS III satellite is scheduled for 2018.

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s 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.

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