Navigating Through the Changes

The Air Force’s next-generation control segment for Global Positioning System satellites, commonly known as OCX, will allow operators to command up to 64 GPS satellites, twice as many as is possible with the current control element, say Air Force officials. The service chose Raytheon in February to supply OCX to replace the existing architecture evolution plan, or AEP, ground system. As part of its activities, Raytheon will install OCX hardware and software at GPS control stations at Schriever AFB, Colo., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Lt. Col. Deanna Burt, 2nd Space Operations Squadron commander at Schriever, said OCX will allow Air Force operators to control future GPS Block III satellites as well as current Block IIR, Block IIR-M, and Block IIF spacecraft. (Schriever report by Jennifer Thibault)