Science and Technology News

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

GPS IIF-4 Satellite Ready for Launch

5/14/2013 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- The U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-4 satellite is ready for launch aboard a UnitedLaunch Alliance Atlas V Launch Vehicle on May 15 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The launch window opens at 5:38 p.m. EDT and will remain open for 18 minutes to accommodate any delays for weather or technical reasons. The satellite, designated as Space Vehicle Number (SVN) 66, is the fourth in the series of 12 IIF space vehicles that Boeing has on contract with the Air Force. SVN-66 will be joining the other operational satellites currently on-orbit in the GPS constellation.

"We are looking forward to yet another successful launch; tremendous progress is being made with the GPS IIF space vehicles. The first three satellites are on-orbit and meeting all mission requirements and the atomic clocks on-board the payloads are providing the best accuracy ever," said Col. Bernie Gruber, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center's Global Positioning Systems Directorate.

"This is just the beginning of the modernization plan to improve operations, sustainment and overall GPS service for military and civil users around the globe. I would like to commend the 45th and the 50th Space Wings, United Launch Alliance, our industry partners, the Atlas V and GPS IIF launch teams. Thanks to the hard work and focus on mission success, we are ready tolaunch the fourth GPS IIF satellite," he said. "To mission success!"

The new capabilities of the IIF satellites will provide greater navigational accuracy through improvements in atomic clock technology; an increased design life of 12 years for long-term service; and a new third civil signal (L5) to provide a more robust signal for commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications, while the second civil signal (L2C) is available for dual-frequency equipment.

GPS will deliver sustained, reliable and improved military and civil navigation capabilities to ensure GPS remains the "Center of Excellence forspaced-based navigation."

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