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First Global Positioning System Block IIF Satellite Completes Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Testing

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Global Positioning Systems Wing declared the first GPS IIF satellite had successfully passed Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Testing at Boeing's Spacecraft Development Center in El Segundo, Calif., Nov. 16 Nov, This represents a major milestone in the development and production of this critical program. 

"The Boeing and government teams have done a tremendous job of getting this satellite through all environmental testing," said GPS Wing commander, Col. Dave Madden. "We can hang our hats on our shared success as we track towards providing improved capability to users worldwide." 

The Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Testing confirms that each major subsystem performs as designed under the extreme temperatures and vacuum conditions in space. The test is the most rigorous test performed on any satellite. The additional importance of the Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Testing on the first GPS IIF satellite is that it verifies the design meets the specified requirements and can perform at the expected space
environment with margin and meets performance parameters as an integrated satellite. 

"We've all spent an enormous amount of time and energy ensuring this test was successful for the GPS IIF program," said Mr John Duddy, Boeing director of the GPS programs. "It validates years of work by dedicated professionals focused on building a quality satellite for the Air Force and the world. Soon the GPS IIF satellites will play a critical role in sustaining this essential global capability." 

Final functional testing of the Electrical Power System, Attitude Determination and Control System, Telemetry, Tracking and Command, and Navigation Payload Results are now being performed to ensure performance has not been degraded during Thermal Vacuum testing. Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility testing and Solar Array deployments are the last major test events prior to shipment of the vehicle. 

The completion of the Spacecraft Thermal Vacuum Testing shows the GPS IIF program is on track towards a successful delivery in the February 2009 timeframe.