On March 4, Raytheon successfully passed the first formal qualification test milestone for the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System. Known simply as GPS OCX, this new system offers significant improvements to the GPS on which the U.S. military and millions of civilians rely, including enhanced availability, accuracy, and security.
The event was the Configuration Item Qualification Test, or CIQT, milestone for the Launch and Checkout System, or LCS. The system provides launch and early orbit checkout capabilities for the modernized GPS III satellites and implements 77 percent of the cybersecurity capabilities for the overall OCX program. The testing was successfully conducted in a representative operational environment with a government-provided GPS III satellite simulator.
"The completion of this test milestone validates the maturity of the OCX launch and checkout system," said Bill Sullivan, GPS OCX program director for Raytheon. "As a result of strong collaboration with the Air Force, we were able to demonstrate the system's performance and increase confidence in the program's path ahead."
The LCS CIQT Run-for-Record was completed more than one month ahead of the plan established in mid-2015, clearing the way for LCS to proceed toward the Factory Qualification Test, the next major qualification event. The FQT test will be at the integrated system level and will take place this summer.
When completed, the U.S. Air Force-led GPS Modernization Program will yield new positioning, navigation, and timing capabilities for both the U.S. military and civilian users across the globe. GPS OCX is being developed by Raytheon under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, which is replacing the current GPS operational control system. The OCX Launch and Checkout System provides an early delivery of a large subset of the overall OCX capability, and will support the GPS III satellite launches.