The Global Positioning System, which military, commercial, and civilian users rely on for accurate navigation, is becoming more capable with deployment of the third Boeing GPS IIF for the U.S. Air Force. The IIF model is the most advanced GPS satellite to date.
SVN-65 is on orbit and performing as expected following liftoff at 8:10 a.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket. Controllers confirmed initial contact with the spacecraft at 11:43 a.m., EDT. The satellite’s GPS signals will be turned on and tested within a few days.
“With this third IIF satellite now on orbit, Boeing continues to deliver more precise navigation and timing capabilities for military and commercial uses worldwide,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems.
GPS IIF is delivering greater navigational accuracy through improvements in atomic clock technology; a more secure and jam-resistant military signal; a protected, more precise, and interference-free civilian L5 signal, and an extended design life.
Following a sequence of maneuvers and other on-orbit tests, SVN-65 will be placed into medium Earth orbit. After the spacecraft’s safety is validated, the Air Force will verify its operability with the rest of the on-orbit constellation and the Boeing-built ground control system known as the Operational Control Segment.