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GPS Block IIF

GPS Block IIF
Navstar-2F.jpg
Artist's impression of a Block IIF GPS satellite in orbit
Manufacturer Boeing
Country of origin  United States
Operator United States Air Force
Applications Satellite navigation
Specifications
Bus AS-4000
Design life 12 years
Launch mass 1,633 kilograms (3,600 lb)
Power 1952 W (end of life)
Regime Semi-synchronous MEO
Production
Status Production Completed
Built 12
On order 0
Launched 12
Operational 12
First launch GPS IIF SV-1
28 May 2010, 03:00 UTC
Last launch GPS IIF-12
5 February 2016, 13:38 UTC
← GPS Block IIR GPS Block IIIA

GPS Block IIF, or GPS IIF is an interim class of GPS (satellite), which will be used to keep the Navstar Global Positioning System operational until the GPS Block IIIA satellites become operational. They are being built by Boeing, and will be operated by the United States Air Force following their launch by United Launch Alliance, using Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles. They will be the final component of the Block II GPS constellation to be launched. On February 5, 2016, the final satellite in the IIF-block was successfully launched, completing the block.

The spacecraft have a mass of 1,630 kilograms (3,590 lb) and a design life of 12 years. Like earlier GPS satellites, Block IIF spacecraft operate in semi-synchronous medium Earth orbits, with an altitude of approximately 20,460 kilometers (12,710 mi), and an orbital period of twelve hours.

The satellites replace the GPS Block IIA satellites that were launched between 1990 and 1997 and were designed to last 7.5 years. The final satellite of the Block IIA series was decommissioned on January 25, 2016. The operational constellation now includes Block IIR, IIRM and IIF variants.

Because the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles are more powerful than the Delta II, which was used to orbit earlier Block II GPS satellites, they can place the satellites directly into their operational orbits. As a result, Block IIF satellites do not carry apogee kick motors. The original contract for Block IIF, signed in 1996, called for 33 spacecraft. This was later reduced to 12, and program delays and technical problems pushed the first launch from 2006 to 2010.

This is a list of GPS Block IIF (Both launched & planned).


GPS Block IIF satellites
Satellite USA designation Launch Date
(UTC)
Rocket Launch Site Status Notes Ref.
GPS IIF-1 USA-213 28 May 2010, 03:00 Delta IV-M+(4,2), D349 Cape Canaveral SLC-37B In Service
GPS IIF-2 USA-232 16 July 2011, 06:41 Delta IV-M+(4,2), D355 Cape Canaveral SLC-37B In Service
GPS IIF-3 USA-239 4 October 2012, 12:10 Delta IV-M+(4,2), D361 Cape Canaveral SLC-37B In Service This launch came shortly before the 10th anniversary of the inaugural Delta IV launch.
GPS IIF-4 USA-242 15 May 2013, 21:38 Atlas V 401, AV-039 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 In Service
GPS IIF-5 USA-248 25 February 2014, 01:59 Delta IV-M+(4,2), D365 Cape Canaveral SLC-37B In Service
GPS IIF-6 USA-251 17 May 2014, 00:03 Delta IV-M+(4,2), D366 Cape Canaveral SLC-37B In Service
GPS IIF-7 USA-256 2 August 2014, 03:23 Atlas V 401, AV-048 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 In Service
GPS IIF-8 USA-258 29 October 2014, 17:21 Atlas V 401, AV-050 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 In Service
GPS IIF-9 USA-260 25 March 2015, 18:36 Delta IV-M+(4,2), D371 Cape Canaveral SLC-37B In Service
GPS IIF-10 USA-262 15 July 2015, 15:36 Atlas V 401, AV-055 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 In Service
GPS IIF-11 USA-265 31 October 2015, 16:13 Atlas V 401, AV-060 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 In Service
GPS IIF-12 USA-266 5 February 2016, 13:38 Atlas V 401, AV-057 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 In Service

  • Broadcasting L5 "safety of life" navigation signal demonstrated on USA-203
  • Broadcasting a new M-code signal
  • Doubling in the predicted accuracy
  • Better resistance to jamming
  • Reprogrammable processors that can receive software uploads
  • The first GPS satellites not to have Selective Availability (SA) hardware installed, which degraded civilian accuracy when turned on in the original satellite fleet
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