GPS system improved as new Boeing satellite enters service

GPS system improved as new Boeing satellite enters service

The Global Positioning System, which millions of people use every day for precise navigation and timing, recently became more accurate and reliable as the fourth Boeing GPS IIF satellite began operating in the U.S. Air Force network.

Launched May 15, that satellite was handed over to the Air Force after 19 days of post-launch validation to stabilize the vehicle and activate the navigation payload, and set healthy on June 21.

“With each IIF that we add to the network, the Air Force and Boeing give military and civilian users around the world better GPS navigation and timing information,” said Craig Cooning, Boeing vice president and general manager of Space & Intelligence Systems.

SVN-66, the official name of the new satellite, is now part of the active 31-satellite network. The next GPS IIF, the fifth of 12 planned, is slated for launch in October.

The new satellite replaces an earlier Boeing-built model launched in 1996.

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A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide.