Boeing has received the first on-orbit signals from the US Air Force (USAF) second global positioning system (GPS) IIF-2.

GPS IIF-2, renamed SVN-63, was launched on 16 July 2011 and the signals confirm the satellite is functioning normally.

The GPS signals from the spacecraft payload will be used for test purposes in the coming weeks and the company will begin on-orbit manoeuvres and operational testing on the satellite.

SVN-63 will be officially transferred to USAF 50th Space Wing and the 2nd Space Operations Squadron this fall after the spacecraft completes on-orbit checkout.

Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems vice-president and general manager Craig Cooning said the GPS IIF through improved atomic clock technology provides increased accuracy and a more jam-resistant military signal.

The satellites also provide increased secure civilian signal to help commercial airline operations and search-and-rescue missions, Cooning added.

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Boeing is building 12 of the satellites for USAF.