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50th Operations Group Demonstrate GPS-Over-Milstar Capability

Artist's impression of Milstar satellite.
by Capt. Andrew Anderson and 1st Lt. Charlie Bellows
2nd Space Operations Squadron
Schriever AFB CO (SPX) Jun 13, 2008
The 50th Operations Group demonstrated a new system May 13 that would allow warfighters to receive GPS precision navigation and timing data through the Milstar satellite constellation.

The GPS Readily Available Navigation Datalink, or GRAND, can provide GPS data to tactical units every 15 minutes for real-time analysis or daily to predict and assess position dilution of precision.

The GRAND concept began with discussions centered around backing up the GPS Information Service network. The GPSIS produces data for the Talon NAMATH system, which boosts the accuracy of air-to-ground weapons systems such as the Guided Bomb Unit-39.

Personnel with the 2nd and 4th Space Operations squadrons here researched the possibility of passing GPSIS data over Milstar satellites based on the discussion. The project culminated in the May 13 demonstration to Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of Air Force Space Command.

Potential applications for GRAND include geographically separated units such as Army Space Support Elements, and areas of operations such as U.S. Pacific Command where deployed forces are remote.

The 50th Operations Group will develop and publish a white paper so that AFSPC acquisition communities can formally develop the demonstrated capability.

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