When the 10th GPS IIF satellite, which was launched on July 15, completes on-orbit checkout tests, the U.S. Air Force will further advance a modernization program for the Global Positioning System. This will improve accuracy and enhance security for the navigation system used daily by millions of people around the world. The 10th GPS IIF satellite joins a constellation of satellites that circle the earth to provide the position, navigation and timing information that is the heart of GPS.
The Boeing-built GPS IIFs are the newest generation of GPS satellites, delivering a longer design life, greater accuracy, increased signal power for civil applications, a more robust military M-code signal and variable power for better jamming resistance. The IIFs also are outfitted with the new civilian L-5 signal which, when fully operational, will be used for emergency applications.
GPS IIF-10 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V expendable launch vehicle at 11:36 a.m. EDT. About three hours and 23 minutes later, the spacecraft was released into its medium-Earth orbit of about 12,000 miles.
Boeing will support the Air Force in performing on-orbit checkout of GPS IIF-10 before it is formally declared operational in about a month. The next GPS satellite, GPS IIF-11, was shipped to Cape Canaveral on June 8 in preparation for the third and final IIF launch of 2015 later this fall.