USAF completes first qualification test of GPS OCX


The US Air Force (USAF) has successfully completed the first qualification test of the global positioning system's next generation operational control system (GPS OCX).

Qualifying the configuration item qualification test (CIQT) marks a major milestone for the OCX Launch and Checkout System (LCS), which is a subset of the fuller OCX ground system.

That test conducted by Raytheon in a representative operational environment was aimed at evaluating the launch and checkout system, Block 0, which is used for deployment of GPS 3 satellites.

"As a result of strong collaboration with the Air Force, we were able to demonstrate the system's performance and increase confidence in the programme's path ahead."

The LCS has been designed to establish the cyber-hardened infrastructure to which additional mission applications will be added.

GPS OCX is a ground-based command and control system capable of managing GPS satellites with enhanced accuracy and precision, along with better cyber protection.

Raytheon GPS OCX programme director Bill Sullivan said: "The completion of this test milestone validates the maturity of the OCX launch and checkout system.

"As a result of strong collaboration with the Air Force, we were able to demonstrate the system's performance and increase confidence in the programme's path ahead."

The LCS CIQT is scheduled to be followed by a factory qualification test at an integrated system level.

Upon completion, the USAF-led GPS Modernisation Programme is expected to provide new positioning, navigation, and timing capabilities for both the US military and civilian users across the globe.

The OCX will protect the satellites from cyber threats, in addition to providing ground-based command and control system.