Exelis has successfully completed several software upgrades for the new Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System, or GPS OCX. Integration and testing were recently conducted on iteration 1.5 of the OCX navigation, encryption and Mission Upload Generator, or MUG, software.
The new version of GPS software will help ground controllers better understand the satellites’ exact positioning in space. The encryption software is also designed to automatically code and decode GPS signals, facilitating the exchange of user information by securely transmitting navigation payload data between the OCX ground system and the orbiting constellation of satellites.
The MUG software is responsible for creating spacecraft payload updates to refresh the navigation data transmitted to all GPS users. This data is typically generated for each satellite multiple times a day and helps to consistently minimize user error.
“These software milestones demonstrate a clear path to improved GPS accuracy and integrity,” said Drew Trainor, OCX program manager for Exelis Geospatial Systems. “Civilian and military users will have more accurate and secure GPS signals, and these milestones bring us one step closer to GPS modernization.”
Under a February 2010 contract award from Raytheon, Exelis is providing software that will simulate the behavior of GPS signals in space. In addition, Exelis is building high-precision receivers for use in ground monitoring stations placed strategically around the world. Exelis is also providing data encryptors that help ensure secure information exchange between the ground and space segments of the system.
Once the new operational control segment is implemented, GPS will improve a variety of business and economic practices, including air traffic control, crop management, and environmental monitoring, among others. The new capabilities offered by GPS modernization will also provide military users increased accuracy, availability, anti-jam power and international interoperability.