Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Boeing GPS IIF Satellites Assembled Using 'Pulse' Manufacturing Line
by Staff Writers
El Segundo, CA (SPX) Jan 25, 2012

Boeing technicians prepare a GPS satellite for mass properties testing at the company's facility in El Segundo. Mass properties testing ensures that a satellite meets weight, center of gravity, dynamic balance, and moment of inertia requirements in preparation for launch and operation. Boeing GPS testing uses a robust spin rate of 40 rpm. Two GPS IIF satellites are currently in service, two are complete and await launch, and eight are in various stages of manufacture. Photo credit: Boeing photo.

Boeing has accelerated the assembly of its Global Positioning System (GPS IIF) satellites through the use of a pulse-line manufacturing approach adapted from the Boeing 737 airplane production line.

"Using this pulse-line approach, we are able to build up to six satellites per year," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "This is the highest satellite production rate in Boeing history, and it ensures we will deliver the remaining GPS IIF satellites on schedule."

Boeing is currently under contract for 12 GPS IIF satellites for the U.S. Air Force. Two are in orbit and meeting mission requirements; two have been completed and are being stored until launch; and eight are in various stages of pulse-line production.

The next GPS IIF launch is scheduled during the third quarter of 2012. Boeing is prepared to deliver several GPS IIF satellites within the next year.

"Similar to an aircraft assembly line, the GPS IIF pulse line efficiently moves a satellite from one designated work area to the next at a fixed rate," said Jan Heide, GPS IIF program director.

"Within the four pulse line work centers, we've incorporated Lean manufacturing processes, new tooling, and additional work-planning packages to improve efficiency and reduce cost."

The GPS pulse line can accommodate four satellites at any given time. Wait time between tasks is reduced or eliminated by staging necessary parts and tools at the point of use at each workstation, creating a smooth process flow.

Along the pulse line, satellites flow to work centers dedicated to four manufacturing stages: vehicle assembly, initial test, thermal-vacuum testing, and final test. The line delivers one space vehicle to storage every two to three months.

GPS IIF is the product of Boeing's long legacy with GPS capabilities, dating back to the first GPS satellite program in 1974. As the prime contractor on the GPS Block I, Block II, Block IIA and Block IIF programs, Boeing has built 40 of the 62 GPS satellites launched since 1978.

For nearly 40 years Boeing has worked with the U.S. Air Force to help ensure excellent service to nearly 1 billion military and civilian users around the world. Boeing also is the prime contractor for the Operational Control Segment, which has supported an expanding set of GPS services and capabilities since 2007.


Related Links
GPS Applications, Technology and Suppliers

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Old satellite teaching new lessons
Schriever AFB CO (AFNS) Jan 25, 2012
Since Jan. 13, the 2nd Space Operations Squadron here has been busy disposing of an old and trusted satellite. Squadron members could soon refer to the vehicle, known as SVN-30, as the satellite that keeps on giving because crews continues to garner invaluable information concerning how Global Positioning System Block IIA satellites behave as they degrade. "We still have 12 GPS Block IIA v ... read more

Roscosmos Revives Permanent Moon Base Plans

Russia talks of permanent moon base

Montana Students Pick Winning Names for Moon Craft

Students rename NASA moon probes Ebb and Flow

U.S. Denies Link to Mars Mission Failure

Three Generations of Rovers with Crouching Engineers

Adjusting Robotic Arm on Amboy Rock

Space Agency Boss Blames Makers for Satellite Crash

2012 - Year of the Dragon

T-rays technology could help develop Star Trek-style hand-held medical scanners

International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities

US joins effort to draw up space 'code of conduct'

China's satellite navigation sector annual output predicted to reach 35 bln USD in 2015

China plans to launch 21 rockets, 30 satellites this year

Shenzhou 9 Behind the Curtain

China Plans to Launch 30 Satellites in 2012

Russia Readies ISS Space Freighter Launch

ISS Team Undertakes 'EPIC' Event

Photographing the International Space Station from Your Own Backyard

New crew arrives at international space station

Delta 4 Launches Air Force Wideband Global SATCOM-4 Satellite

Stratolaunch Systems Announces Ground Breaking At Mojave

Third ATV Launch Campaign Proceeding Towards March Launch

Inaugural Vega Mission Ready For Liftoff

Earth's Cloudy Past Could Reveal Exoplanet Details

Re-thinking an Alien World

Scientists Discover a Saturn-like Ring System Eclipsing a Sun-like Star

Planets around stars are the rule rather than the exception

iPhone sales drive record quarter for Apple

Ball Aerospace Makes Progress for NASA's Joint Polar Satellite System-1 Spacecraft

Dutch court rules in Apple/Samsung fight

Metadynamics technique offers insight into mineral growth and dissolution

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement