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Out with the old: Air Force updates GPS constellation

by GPS4US 2014-05-22 10:17

Well, the Air Force just shot $245 million into the sky.

But that’s awesome news to GPS enthusiasts. Because that $245 million represents the price of the
latest satellite in the United States’ GPS constellation.

The launch occurred last Friday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and was the latest in the
military’s ongoing quest to update the aging GPS system. It means better GPS capabilities for both
military and civilian users.
The launch was the second of four planned for 2014.

"Civilian users around the world use and depend on GPS for highly accurate time, location and velocity
information," Lt. Col. Dave Ashley, commander of the 5th Space Launch Squadron, 45th Space Wing, told
reporters before the launch, according to CBSNews.com. "From the navigation systems in our vehicles to
the timing of most electronic financial transactions, GPS has permeated into nearly every aspect of our
lives."

The Air Force will, ultimately, launch a total of 12 upgraded GPS 2F satellites which will improve
accuracy and better prevent jamming than the current satellites. The satellite launched Friday will
replace one that was launched in 1993 and just had its first beer.

The Air Force is in the process of launching 12 upgraded GPS 2F satellites that are more accurate and
jam resistant than earlier versions. The GPS 2F-6 satellite launched Friday is the sixth in the latest
series and it will replace an aging GPS satellite that was launched in 1993.

"The replacement of our legacy satellites ensures both the sustainment and the modernization of the GPS
constellation by providing increased signal power, improved accuracy and anti-jamming capabilities for
GPS users worldwide," Mission Director Walter Lauderdale told CBSNews.com. "Our continued modernization
helps GPS remain the gold standard for space-based PNT (position, navigation and timing)."

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