Boeing [NYSE:BA] officials dedicated the new Boeing GPS Center in support of the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) program during a December 1 ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The center was created to develop, integrate, test and sustain the control segment hardware and software for the latest GPS IIF satellites. The first of six modernized Boeing GPS-IIF satellites ordered by the Air Force is scheduled for launch in mid-2006.
"The establishment of the Boeing GPS Center affirms our commitment to all facets of the GPS program," said George Muellner, senior vice president and general manger, Air Force Systems, for Boeing. "We've given top priority to the enhancement and modernization of GPS, enabling continued support for DoD's transformational plans and the future warfighter."
The BGC will enhance Boeing's GPS core competencies and provide the company with its own full GPS software development center.
"The Boeing GPS Center fits our strategy to work closely with, and to support the customer by greatly improving capability while reducing costs," said John Fuller, executive director, Air Force Space Systems, for Boeing.
The facility will have the capability to support evolutionary software development for GPS IIF and other versions of the GPS satellite. There is space for five software labs, a large computer room with under-floor cooling with overhead wire connectivity for easy installation, and conference rooms.
Boeing has a long, distinguished heritage with the GPS program dating back to 1974, when the Air Force awarded the contract for the first Block I satellite. Boeing subsequently produced a total of 40 GPS satellites including Blocks I, II and IIA. The Block IIA satellites form the majority of the current GPS constellation. Boeing won the Block IIF contract in April 1996, which includes development of the control segment.
The Space and Missile Systems Center manages the GPS program through a joint program office at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.