Boeing has delivered the USAF's first global positioning system (GPS) IIF satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where it will undergo final preparations for launch.
The USAF's Space Vehicle 1 (SV-1), the first of 12 GPS IIF satellites, is scheduled to be launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV vehicle, by the end of 2010.
Boeing delivered the next-generation navigation spacecraft, from its satellite manufacturing facility in El Segundo, aboard a Boeing-built C-17 Globemaster III airlifter.
Following its launch, the GPS IIF system will enhance the performance of the GPS constellation.
The GPS IIF system will also improve the navigational accuracy of heritage satellites, add more robust signals for commercial aviation and search-and-rescue, and greater resistance to jamming in hostile environments.
Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems vice-president and general manager Craig Cooning said the GPS IIF system would afford major performance improvements over the legacy satellites, and sustain and dramatically improve the GPS constellation for civil, commercial and defence users.
In preparation for the launch of SV-1, the SV-2 spacecraft successfully completed a consolidated system test in September 2009.
A set of one-time, system-level design verification and validation tests, the consolidated system test involves the space vehicle, the ground-based control segment and user equipment.
During the test, the SV-2 was also used as a pathfinder to validate transportation equipment and processes, as well as launch-site test procedures and equipment.
A space-based, worldwide navigation system, the GPS provides highly accurate, 3D position, navigation and timing information, 24 hours a day in all weather conditions.