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U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System Next-Generation Operational Control System, known as GPS OCX, has been progressing. Developed by Raytheon under contract to the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, GPS OCX is replacing the current GPS operational control system and will support the launch of the GPS III satellites.
Raytheon’s use of technology development best practices and its completion of a systems engineering milestone are driving progress on the project.
According to c4isrnet.com, this new system is meant to provide improved performance and security for the GPS technology.
The milestone provided extra rigor and accountability around the systems engineering for the rest of the GPS OCX program. It also enables more efficient completion of the remaining software development and associated cyber protection capabilities that will harden the system against hackers, double GPS accuracy, enhance its availability, and eventually replace the stop-gap and patching measures currently used on the legacy GPS ground system, the company said.
The OCX team reduced development cycle times to create more efficient and effective software development by using a commercial best practice called DevOps. DevOps combines commercial cloud technologies, new automation and software development processes. This is the first use of DevOps in a large-scale U.S. Department of Defense acquisition program, according to Raytheon.
According to Raytheon’s website, improvements include the new Kalman filter that is at the heart of the GPS OCX navigation solution, that will double the accuracy of the current system for all users. It changes the cap to 64 satellites, allowing more satellites and better geometry in hard-to-reach areas such as urban canyons and mountainous terrain. Additionally, all critical OCX external interfaces will employ digital signatures, protecting information from tampering so it can be trusted by users.
“The recent milestones achieved for OCX demonstrate our resolve to meet long-term schedule commitments and keep our momentum in 2017,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. “These software development innovations are helping to drive OCX capabilities, the replacement of the legacy GPS ground system, and significant enhancements to GPS overall.”