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Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Satellites

US PNT Satellites (GPS)


2017 – GPS – Snapshot

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) managed 31 operational GPS satellites during 2017, seven more than the minimum 24 GPS satellites required for effective operations. Even though the U.S. number of . . .

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2016 – GPS – Snapshot

While the U.S. Air Force (USAF) maintained ## operational satellites in its Global Positioning System (GPS) positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) fleet, the U.S. share of overall global operational PNT satellites ## from ##% in 2015 to ##% in 2016. This was due to other nations, such as…

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2007 – GPS

The U.S. Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR GPS or GPS) continues to be the only fully operational navigation constellation and therefore the most popular. GPS consists of ## active satellites in ## medium Earth orbit planes. According to the Department of Defense (DoD), “the fundamental concept of GPS is to use simultaneous distance measurements from ## satellites to compute the position and time of any receiver.” The GPS signal is available at no cost to users around the world and has spawned many commercial applications.

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2015 – GPS – Snapshot

The U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite fleet made up ##% of the operational global positioning, navigation, and timing fleets orbiting the Earth in 2015. Originally developed for military use, GPS became fully operational in the spring of 1995, marking 2015 as the 20th anniversary for the constellation. This meant the satellite constellation consisted of a minimum of ## GPS satellites in their assigned medium Earth orbits after the completion of several tests. Since it became fully operational, the constellation number annually exceeds the baseline requirement by a good margin, not including ## backup GPS satellites.

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2014 – GPS

The number of U.S. GPS satellites remained relatively unchanged from 2013, with ## orbiting the Earth. The composition of GPS satellite generations within the constellation changed, as the United States launched ## new GPS IIF satellites during 2014. Nearly a third of the current GPS constellation consists of the newer GPS IIF satellites. In October 2014, a Combined Launch Schedule Review Board (CLSRB) determined that the launches of GPS III satellites would be postponed from 2015 until 2017. The decision to delay the GPS III satellite upgrade took into account the good health of the current GPS constellation.

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2013 – GPS

To many, all satellite-based navigation is synonymous with the term “Global Positioning System” or “GPS.” However, this acronym only refers to one specific network: the U.S. Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR-GPS). Developed by the U.S. Air Force (USAF), GPS became fully operational in 1995, and remained the only fully operational global satellite-based navigation network for several years. GPS provides global coverage with ## active satellites in MEO plus a number of in-orbit backups. The USAF currently maintains ## GPS satellites, along with ## to ## decommissioned satellites that can be reactivated as needed.

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2012 – GPS

To many consumers, all satellite-based navigation is synonymous with the term “GPS,” but this acronym only refers to one specific network. The U.S. Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR-GPS or GPS) was developed by the USAF and, until recently, was the only fully operational global satellite-based navigation network that supported civilian and commercial use. Operational since 1995, the system uses at least ## active satellites in MEO to provide global coverage while maintaining others in orbit as backups. The Air Force currently maintains ## GPS satellites, plus ## to ## decommissioned satellites that can still be reactivated as needed.

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2011 – GPS – Snapshot

Although many generically use the term “GPS” to refer to the overall concept of satellite-based navigation, this acronym only refers to one specific network. The U.S. Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR-GPS or GPS) was developed and deployed by the U.S. Air Force and was the first fully operational global satellite-based navigation network. The GPS constellation nominally requires ## operating satellites but in practice maintains more satellites in orbit.

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2008 – GPS

The U.S. Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR GPS or GPS) is the only fully operational satellite-based navigation network. Best known from its widespread commercial applications, the network was deployed and is operated by the U.S. Air Force. The GPS fleet consists of ## satellites in MEO, and has been in full operation since 1995.

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