GPS III Contingency Operations Program Nears Operational Acceptance

GPS III SV02 Shipping to Launch. Photo: Lockheed Martin

The GPS III Contingency Operations Program (COps) successfully connected with the first GPS III satellite on orbit. The COps system will allow the U.S. Air Force to operationally command and control the new GPS III satellites as well as legacy GPS satellites currently in the constellation.

This month, the COps program received approval from Air Force Space Command’s Operations and Communications Directorate (A3/6) to enter a trial period. The trial period includes testing COps command and control with the live, on-orbit GPS III satellite, which allows the program office to conduct developmental and operational testing needed to thoroughly verify requirements and functionality of the satellite. The testing aims to confirm readiness for operational acceptance targeted for December 2019 and April 2020 for the GPS III satellite and COps respectively.

The GPS III COps program is managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Production Corps, Command and Control Systems Division, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California. The Production Corps is an 800 plus person team managing 26 programs across the Air Force’s space portfolio.

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