Raytheon To Improve Accuracy Information From GPS Satellites <


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Raytheon To Improve Accuracy Information From GPS Satellites

By Mike Mitchell

March 3, 2010 - Raytheon has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to develop a new element of the Global Positioning System (GPS) were by improving the accuracy of information from GPS satellites. The contract is worth $886 million.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S. space-based global navigation satellite system. It provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services to worldwide users on a continuous basis in all weather, day and night, anywhere on or near the Earth which has an unobstructed view of four or more GPS satellites.

GPS is made up of three segments: Space, Control and User. The Space Segment is composed of 24 to 32 satellites in Medium Earth Orbit and also includes the boosters required to launch them into orbit. The Control Segment is composed of a Master Control Station, an Alternate Master Control Station, and a host of dedicated and shared Ground Antennas and Monitor Stations.

The User Segment is composed of hundreds of thousands of U.S. and allied military users of the secure GPS Precise Positioning Service, and tens of millions of civil, commercial and scientific users of the Standard Positioning Service (see GPS navigation devices). GPS satellites broadcast signals from space that GPS receivers use to provide three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus precise time.

GPS has become a widely used aid to navigation worldwide, and a useful tool for map-making, land surveying, commerce, scientific uses, tracking and surveillance, and hobbies such as geocaching and waymarking. Also, the precise time reference is used in many applications including the scientific study of earthquakes and as a time synchronization source for cellular network protocols.

The contract represents the first two development blocks of the advanced control segment (OCX), which will have a significant impact on GPS capabilities. The OCX system will include anti-jam capabilities and improved security, accuracy and reliability and will be based on a modern service-oriented architecture to integrate government and industry open-system standards.

“We are excited to partner with the Air Force to provide the best-value GPS control system for the future,” said Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems business. “Raytheon’s broad experience in delivering satellite-to-ground command and control systems will ensure that our nation’s military and civil GPS users worldwide are provided new capabilities.”

The OCX will dramatically affect GPS command, control and mission capabilities and make it easier for the operations team to run the current GPS block II and all future GPS satellites.

 “Raytheon is proud to deliver innovative technologies to help the Air Force meet its mission of protecting GPS operational services,” said Bob Canty, GPS OCX vice president and program manager for Raytheon. “The advanced control segment is a critical program for our nation’s combat forces, coalition partners, as well as domestic and international civil users. By selecting Raytheon, the Air Force recognizes our experience and commitment to take GPS to the next level.”

The GPS, a satellite-based radio navigation system for the military and the public, comprises three major segments: the user segment, the space segment and the control segment, which includes a master control station and ground antennas.

 “The OCX concept was created to separate the control and space segments,” Canty said. “Technologies were evolving so rapidly and were so critical to execution that specialized skills were needed. The GPS wing saw the same need for specialized expertise on GPS OCX.”

Raytheon brings more than four decades of experience in command and control systems for satellites to the OCX program. Teammates include The Boeing Company, ITT, Braxton Technologies, Infinity Systems Engineering and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The contract was awarded by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.

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