United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is set to launch the GPS IIF-11 mission for the US Air Force (USAF) on 30 October.
ULA’s launch system Atlas V 401 will carry out the mission from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The GPS satellites offer navigational assistance for US military operations on land, at sea, and in the air.
One of the next-generation GPS satellites, GPS IIF-11 features a number of enhancements to deliver greater accuracy, increased signals, and enhanced performance for users.
The GPS IIF satellites deliver second civil signal (L2C) for dual-frequency equipment, and a new third civil signal (L5) to support commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications.
Capable of providing jam-resistant military signals in hostile environments, the GPS IIF satellites are designed to replace the GPS Block IIA satellites, which were launched between 1990 and 1997.
The latest launch marks the third GPS mission ULA launch in 2015, while the company launched GPS IIF-9 on a Delta IV in March and GPS IIF-10 in July.
In addition, it represents the ULA’s 11th mission in 2015 and 102nd since the company was founded in 2006.
USAF recently awarded ULA with an $882m contract to continue launching satellites with its Delta IV and Atlas V rockets.
Under the contract, ULA will deliver services that include maintenance commodities, Delta and Atlas depreciation, and provides for mission assurance, programme management and systems engineering.
Image: A poster depicting the GPS IIF-11. Photo: courtesy of United Launch Alliance, LLC.