Reflecting the efficiency and precision of the company’s most advanced production lines, Boeing-built Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites are rolling out of the factory and into orbit. Dan Hart, vice president of Boeing Government Space Systems, notes that as each satellite is added to the GPS constellation, the Boeing IIFs are enhancing accuracy and strengthening its anti-jamming security.
This new generation of GPS satellites underpins the U.S. Air Force initiative to modernize GPS and sustain the most reliable and durable navigation and timing system in the world.
Since early 2014, the Air Force has deployed six of 12 Boeing-built GPS IIF satellites. The launch tempo is the most robust since the GPS network first became operational in the 1990s. Two launches have already occurred in 2015 and another one – the 11th in the series – is slated for October.
The benefits are tangible, not only for the military and government, but for commercial users. One study estimates that in just three key U.S. commercial market areas alone where GPS technology has yielded especially strong advantages – crop farming, surveying and mapping, and commercial surface transportation – the annual economic benefit is in the tens of billions of dollars.
While the latest performance improvements are subtle and may not be obvious to the average user of a GPS device driving a car or using a smartphone, they are part of the foundation that helps GPS continue as the gold standard. No other system can deliver the highly accurate positioning, timing and navigation information to the U.S. military, its allies and the global user community like GPS.
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