Revolutionizing the Way Nations Operate in Space
Originally developed by the military to enhance airborne, marine, and land-based operations, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is critical to national security space and has revolutionized the way nations operate in space—from guidance systems to crewed vehicles, to the management, tracking, and control of communication satellites, to monitoring the Earth from space.
The Aerospace Corporation played a significant role in the development of GPS, serving as the principal adviser to the Air Force on space acquisitions. Aerospace provided proof-of-concept studies; constellation design and management studies; accuracy-improvement initiatives; independent assessments; and operational assistance to the satellite-based navigation system.
Aerospace continues its role as the primary GPS adviser to the Air Force, helping design the Block IIF satellites, which are replacing aging earlier satellites in the GPS constellation and providing new services that have not been previously available. Aerospace is involved with four generations of GPS satellites, two generations of the ground control segment, and a host of military-user equipment efforts.
New uses for GPS are arising almost daily. Aerospace supports the Air Force in their work to support end users, continuing a program of constantly upgrading and replenishing the GPS constellation, thereby maintaining a global utility that is the backbone of national security and international commerce.