GPS IIF Detector Software Needs Upgrade

GPS IIF Satellite needs software Upgrade

The first Boeing-built GPS IIF satellite in orbit will require software fixes to reduce degradation in the cross-links for its nuclear-detection payload, says Lt. Gen. Tom Sheridan, U.S. Air Force program executive officer for space.

Designated SVN-62 by the Air Force, the satellite was launched May 27 and accepted into operation last week, having passed its navigation systems testing. The best-known task for the GPS constellation of 31 spacecraft is to provide navigation, positioning and timing information for more than 1 billion military and civilian users.

But the network also carries detectors to warn of a nuclear blast; this is the system suffering the crosslinks degradation, Sheridan says.

While a software fix has been identified, Sheridan says the SVN-63 will not launch until the fix has been implemented in an uplink to SVN-62 and properly tested. The cross-links were designed to be interoperable with GPS satellites now in orbit. (…)

By Amy Butler, Michael Mecham
Washington, San Francisco

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