Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October 29, 2014  (Read 56305 times)

Offline beidou

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LIVE: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October 29, 2014
« on: 05/17/2014 04:00 pm »
4th GPS launch in 2014.

William Graham's excellent feature article for this mission:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/10/ula-atlas-v-gps-iif-8-launch/

Launch Coverage Sponsored by ATK:
« Last Edit: 10/29/2014 01:42 pm by Chris Bergin »

Offline beidou

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #1 on: 08/02/2014 12:54 pm »

GPS IIF-8, slated for launch during the fourth quarter, arrived at Cape Canaveral on July 16 to undergo final launch preparations.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2014 11:32 am by beidou »

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #2 on: 09/09/2014 06:04 am »
According to http://www.spaceflightnow.com/tracking/index.html the 50th Atlas V is scheduled to liftoff at 1:19 - 1:37 pm Eastern on October 29 (17:19 - 17:37 UTC).  ;)
Astronomy & spaceflight geek penguin. In a relationship w/ Space Shuttle Discovery. Current Priority: Chasing the Chinese Spaceflight Wonder Egg & A Certain Chinese Mars Rover

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #3 on: 09/09/2014 12:38 pm »
It should be the 50th Atlas V launch. Regardless of fan clubs or not, it's shown itself to be a very reliable launch vehicle that launches on time more often than not. All the best to them.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #4 on: 09/09/2014 01:32 pm »
It should be the 50th Atlas V launch. Regardless of fan clubs or not, it's shown itself to be a very reliable launch vehicle that launches on time more often than not. All the best to them.

By coincidence the tail number of this mission's Atlas is AV-050.

Offline WHAP

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #5 on: 09/10/2014 03:51 am »

It should be the 50th Atlas V launch. Regardless of fan clubs or not, it's shown itself to be a very reliable launch vehicle that launches on time more often than not. All the best to them.

By coincidence the tail number of this mission's Atlas is AV-050.

Without an emoticon, people will think you are serious. 
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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #6 on: 09/10/2014 07:53 am »

It should be the 50th Atlas V launch. Regardless of fan clubs or not, it's shown itself to be a very reliable launch vehicle that launches on time more often than not. All the best to them.

By coincidence the tail number of this mission's Atlas is AV-050.

Without an emoticon, people will think you are serious. 

As Atlas-V tail numbers are not sequential to the launch order, it is indeed by coincidence. See Atlas-V launch list for serial numbers: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/atlas-5.htm

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #7 on: 09/10/2014 02:02 pm »

It should be the 50th Atlas V launch. Regardless of fan clubs or not, it's shown itself to be a very reliable launch vehicle that launches on time more often than not. All the best to them.

By coincidence the tail number of this mission's Atlas is AV-050.

Without an emoticon, people will think you are serious. 

As Atlas-V tail numbers are not sequential to the launch order, it is indeed by coincidence. See Atlas-V launch list for serial numbers: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/atlas-5.htm

Correct. AV-050 was originally assigned to MMS, now launching next spring. Delays to that payload, originally scheduled for this fall, prompted ULA to shuffle boosters around. And, AV-048 launched before AV-047.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #8 on: 09/20/2014 08:50 am »
Launch time has been slightly refined to 1:21 - 1:39 pm Eastern.

Someone may double check this, but it seems that this one is heading to orbital plane E - the last of 6 planes that has yet to receive a block IIF satellite.  ::)
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October 29, 2014
« Reply #9 on: 09/20/2014 01:51 pm »
Atlas V to Launch GPS IIF-8 on Oct. 29

Atlas V GPS IIF-8 Mission ArtworkRocket/Payload:An Atlas V 401 will launch the GPS IIF-8 mission for the U.S. Air Force.

Date/Site/Launch Time: Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The 18-minute launch window opens at 1:21 p.m. EDT.

Viewing the Launch by Webcast: The live webcast will begin at 1:01 p.m. EDT.

Mission Description: GPS satellites serve and protect our warfighters by providing navigational assistance for U.S. military operations on land, at sea, and in the air. Civilian users around the world also use and depend on GPS for highly accurate time, location, and velocity information.

GPS IIF-8 is one of the next-generation GPS satellites, incorporating various improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased signals, and enhanced performance for users.

Launch Notes: GPS IIF-8 will be ULA’s fourth GPS launch of 2014 and the 12th of the year. The mission will mark ULA’s 89th mission launched since the company was founded in 2006.
Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch; look for the #GPSIIF8 hashtag.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2014 02:24 pm by jacqmans »
Jacques :-)

Offline macpacheco

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #10 on: 09/22/2014 01:27 pm »
Launch time has been slightly refined to 1:21 - 1:39 pm Eastern.

Someone may double check this, but it seems that this one is heading to orbital plane E - the last of 6 planes that has yet to receive a block IIF satellite.  ::)

Plane E has 6 satellites with an ideal 3 pair layout (within the current layout).
And the IIA birds on plane E are still operating very well (PRN10=70cm URE and PRN32=50cm URE).
There's no requirement to having 6 birds on an orbital plane today, so plane E might as well end up getting IIF-12 or IIF-11/12.
I would prefer to add birds to the planes with just 4 birds (bare minimum). Those are planes B and C.
Of those, plane B has just 2 L2C/M-Code capable birds. plane C has 3.
So logic would suggest adding to plane B.

There's no problem adding two IIIA later instead, leaving some plane without any IIF.

Hopefully PRN8 / SVN38 will be decommissioned to open up room in the almanac. It's been running at 140cm URE, twice as much error as the 90% best of the constellation. And its flying a triplet, so it can be gone without any loss.

But I'm thinking freely without any GPS constellation sustainment master plan... Some overriding consideration might exist.
USAF is amazingly transparent about it's GPS plans, but we need to keep in mind that unless otherwise decided everything internal about GPS is classified.

Train of though... :
Highest priority is keeping up with 24+3 constellation requirements (that means some orbital planes should have 5 birds minimum, some 4 birds minimum).
Second priority is being ready for M-Code IOC/FOC.
Preparations for L5 IOC/FOC comes later (number of IIF+future IIIA).
The E plane has two IIA satellites which will have to be replaced.
What matters is number of IIR-M + IIF for M-Code/L2C IOC/FOC. 3=ready for IOC, 4=ready for FOC
Plane A has 4
Plane B has 2
Plane C has 3
Plane D has 2
Plane E has 1
Plane F has 2
Another view is number of IIR+IIRM+IIF (aka what would happen if all IIA birds were deactivated tomorrow, each new IIF launched forces an active IIA into residual due to almanac limitations):
Plane A has 4
Plane B has 4
Plane C has 4
Plane D has 5
Plane E has 4
Plane F has 5
« Last Edit: 09/22/2014 01:30 pm by macpacheco »
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Offline grythumn

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #11 on: 09/24/2014 08:15 pm »
But I'm thinking freely without any GPS constellation sustainment master plan... Some overriding consideration might exist.
USAF is amazingly transparent about it's GPS plans, but we need to keep in mind that unless otherwise decided everything internal about GPS is classified.

Train of though... :
Highest priority is keeping up with 24+3 constellation requirements (that means some orbital planes should have 5 birds minimum, some 4 birds minimum).
Second priority is being ready for M-Code IOC/FOC.
Preparations for L5 IOC/FOC comes later (number of IIF+future IIIA).
The E plane has two IIA satellites which will have to be replaced.

We ought to have a general GPS thread somewhere instead of having this discussion piecemeal in the launch threads. :)

Did you read the interview with Colonel Cooley in GPS World? There's an interesting quote in there about getting to 18 M-Code capable SVs (e.g. IOC) by 2017 to support MGUE. As I think everyone has been saying, this year has been about launching for capability, not just sustainment.

EDIT: Also new to me... GPS III and OCX have been pushed back to the second half of 2016. I knew they weren't making this year, but... :'(

Quote
WBC: The M-code-capable military receiver (MGUE) modules in development have successfully acquired and tracked M-code during live-sky tests, and we have many more tests scheduled. MGUE is expected to begin fielding by 2017, at which point at least 18 M-code-capable GPS satellites are expected to be on orbit, providing global four-in-view coverage of full M-code capabilities.

http://gpsworld.com/latest-words-from-the-acquisition-guru-of-the-worlds-gold-standard-for-pnt/

-Bob
« Last Edit: 09/24/2014 08:52 pm by grythumn »

Offline macpacheco

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #12 on: 09/25/2014 07:09 am »
We ought to have a general GPS thread somewhere instead of having this discussion piecemeal in the launch threads. :)

Did you read the interview with Colonel Cooley in GPS World? There's an interesting quote in there about getting to 18 M-Code capable SVs (e.g. IOC) by 2017 to support MGUE. As I think everyone has been saying, this year has been about launching for capability, not just sustainment.

EDIT: Also new to me... GPS III and OCX have been pushed back to the second half of 2016. I knew they weren't making this year, but... :'(

Quote
WBC: The M-code-capable military receiver (MGUE) modules in development have successfully acquired and tracked M-code during live-sky tests, and we have many more tests scheduled. MGUE is expected to begin fielding by 2017, at which point at least 18 M-code-capable GPS satellites are expected to be on orbit, providing global four-in-view coverage of full M-code capabilities.

http://gpsworld.com/latest-words-from-the-acquisition-guru-of-the-worlds-gold-standard-for-pnt/

-Bob
I am exactly focused on finding a balance between preparations for M-Code/L2C IOC (3 capable/properly spaced birds in all 6 orbital planes) with constellation sustainment (before the first IIIA can be launched, all IIA birds will have to be retired, as OCX is needed to control IIIA birds and OCX can`t control IIA birds).
In all likelihood, by IIF-10 the constellation will have 18 operational M-Code capable birds (assuming SVN49 will be used for M-Code only instead of totally in reserve), but the layout will be wrong (will need a few more launches to fill the gaps). With all IIF's in service they are likely able to close all gaps.

At the same time, by 2017 there should be 8 IIR-M, 12IIF, plus some 2 IIIA in service, totaling 22, pretty close to FOC (full operating capability). IIF-8 in 2014, IIF-9/10 in 2015, IIF-11/12 in 2016, IIIA-1/2 in 2017.
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Offline grythumn

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #13 on: 09/25/2014 05:36 pm »
I am exactly focused on finding a balance between preparations for M-Code/L2C IOC (3 capable/properly spaced birds in all 6 orbital planes) with constellation sustainment (before the first IIIA can be launched, all IIA birds will have to be retired, as OCX is needed to control IIIA birds and OCX can`t control IIA birds).

Didn't the Air Force announce a contract to get the disposal software to control the IIA SVs after the OCX transition? I *think* I remember something about that... <few minutes of googling later>

Hmm. From 2012:

Quote
The solution announced during the week at the National Space Symposium (NSS, April 16–19) by General William Shelton, the four-star chief of Air Force Space Command, is to fund the current LADO operator, Braxton Technologies, to build in this support for the IIAs. This is significant for several reasons: One, of course, is that it solves the IIA C2 issues, it does it now, and at a relatively modest cost, and it utilizes more of the capabilities of the Braxton Technologies’ LADO software. Additionally it provides a true backup capability for assets on orbit that become increasingly valuable as the number of available launch slots for GPS decreases.

http://gpsworld.com/the-system-gps-iii-endures-bad-press-iias-an-ocx-concern/

Has anyone heard anything about this since?

-Bob

Offline macpacheco

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #14 on: 09/25/2014 07:55 pm »
I am exactly focused on finding a balance between preparations for M-Code/L2C IOC (3 capable/properly spaced birds in all 6 orbital planes) with constellation sustainment (before the first IIIA can be launched, all IIA birds will have to be retired, as OCX is needed to control IIIA birds and OCX can`t control IIA birds).

Didn't the Air Force announce a contract to get the disposal software to control the IIA SVs after the OCX transition? I *think* I remember something about that... <few minutes of googling later>

Hmm. From 2012:

Quote
The solution announced during the week at the National Space Symposium (NSS, April 16–19) by General William Shelton, the four-star chief of Air Force Space Command, is to fund the current LADO operator, Braxton Technologies, to build in this support for the IIAs. This is significant for several reasons: One, of course, is that it solves the IIA C2 issues, it does it now, and at a relatively modest cost, and it utilizes more of the capabilities of the Braxton Technologies’ LADO software. Additionally it provides a true backup capability for assets on orbit that become increasingly valuable as the number of available launch slots for GPS decreases.

http://gpsworld.com/the-system-gps-iii-endures-bad-press-iias-an-ocx-concern/

Has anyone heard anything about this since?

-Bob
No word on that actually being done. Anyhow... Why on earth would anybody want to keep the capability to use 25 yr old GPS satellites ? Most are on the last atomic clock or last reaction control wheel or the last usable bus.
Its one of those "lets spend some money so we get a feature we probably will never need anyways".
With another 2 IIF launches (and those birds set healthy), all remaining IIA's could simply be retired.
PRN13 being repositioned to PRN26 slot, then PRN26 can be retired (will form a triplet)
PRN4 can be retired right now (forming a triplet)
PRN8 can be retired right now (forming a triplet)
That leaves just PRN10 and PRN32 to be replaced with a IIF (IIF-8 and IIF-9)
The reason USAF leaves triplets doing to job of a pair is just because they can.
It's possible IIF-8 and/or IIF-9 will be launched into a IIR slot and the IIR will be repositioned to PRN10/PRN32 then that IIA can be retired.
It never ceases to amaze me how little the US govt cares about spending a dozen million dollars. Pocket change, since it doesn't come from the pocket of those that make the decisions.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2014 07:56 pm by macpacheco »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #15 on: 09/25/2014 09:26 pm »
It never ceases to amaze me how little the US govt cares about spending a dozen million dollars. Pocket change, since it doesn't come from the pocket of those that make the decisions.

Because it saves money in the long run.

Offline macpacheco

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #16 on: 09/26/2014 06:22 am »
It never ceases to amaze me how little the US govt cares about spending a dozen million dollars. Pocket change, since it doesn't come from the pocket of those that make the decisions.

Because it saves money in the long run.
No it doesn't. It would save money if the launch tempo were slowed down, reducing GPS IIIA launch / manufacturing expenditures, but that's not the plan.
Even if there were a 5 year gap between launching the last IIF and the first IIIA, there's no need to use GPS IIA birds, since the constellation will have 4 satellites in excess of its performance requirements (31 instead of 27).
One of the major GPS constellation goals is reaching L5 FOC ASAP, so civilian users can stop using semi codeless methods, so the air force can do whatever they feel is better for military needs, while today they are stuck with some restrictions due to semi codeless (civilian usage of P(Y) code). That requires 12 IIF + 12 IIIA operational satellites minimum (L5 capable). Hence even with all IIA fully retired, the constellation would have 12 IIIA + 12 IIF + 7 IIR-M + 12 IIR = 43 satellites. Or enough satellites that all IIR could all be set a residual and have same or better constellation geometry as today.
Right now only 5 IIA birds are still in operation, but in a year all of them won't be performing any useful work in the constellation.
Plus the IIA residual plan is based on a contingency that newer satellites might fail, yet that has never happened (a GPS satellite fail while in service). Not only are GPS satellites living 150+% over their stated mission life, but also, USAF 2nd SOPS have a spotless record of always detecting when there is a significant risk of a GPS bird failing in the next future, and scheduling a launch to replace it.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2014 06:39 am by macpacheco »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #17 on: 09/26/2014 02:29 pm »
It never ceases to amaze me how little the US govt cares about spending a dozen million dollars. Pocket change, since it doesn't come from the pocket of those that make the decisions.

Because it saves money in the long run.
No it doesn't.

You don't have the information nor do you know enough about the requirements to make such a claim and your past claims have been grossly wrong.

Offline macpacheco

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #18 on: 09/26/2014 03:09 pm »
It never ceases to amaze me how little the US govt cares about spending a dozen million dollars. Pocket change, since it doesn't come from the pocket of those that make the decisions.

Because it saves money in the long run.
No it doesn't.

You don't have the information nor do you know enough about the requirements to make such a claim and your past claims have been grossly wrong.
You understand a LOT about launch systems. However you have yet to show understanding of the many GPS segments and their components. I have studied this stuff. It's not rocket science. I don't need to convince you. But you are know not to bother to explain things.
If you disagree with me and care to make a stand, correct my statements. Otherwise, AFAIK you don't know enough about the GPS system to actually impress anybody.
I have my politically charged opinions and hunches, that doesn't make me a crazy person. I don't earn a living from rocketry and space.
My core area of expertise is computing hardware/software and telecommunications. GPS is far closer to computer hardware than rocketry. Its much closer to my alley than you think.
The only good reason for this GPS IIA support for OCX is that the company that proposed it is a smaller shop that USAF wants to throw a bone towards, perhaps they could do for GPS what SpaceX is doing for space launches, reducing cost and having more heart in it. That would actually be a good reason to spend a few dozen million dollars (getting a competent and competitive supplier that can do stuff much more cost effectively than LM or Boeing, also GPS system suppliers).
« Last Edit: 09/26/2014 03:13 pm by macpacheco »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas V 401 - GPS IIF-8 - October, 2014
« Reply #19 on: 09/26/2014 03:56 pm »
1.  You understand a LOT about launch systems. However you have yet to show understanding of the many GPS segments and their components. I have studied this stuff. It's not rocket science. I don't need to convince you. But you are know not to bother to explain things.
If you disagree with me and care to make a stand, correct my statements. Otherwise, AFAIK you don't know enough about the GPS system to actually impress anybody.
2.  I have my politically charged opinions and hunches, that doesn't make me a crazy person. I don't earn a living from rocketry and space.
3.  My core area of expertise is computing hardware/software and telecommunications. GPS is far closer to computer hardware than rocketry. Its much closer to my alley than you think.
4.  The only good reason for this GPS IIA support for OCX is that the company that proposed it is a smaller shop that USAF wants to throw a bone towards, perhaps they could do for GPS what SpaceX is doing for space launches, reducing cost and having more heart in it. That would actually be a good reason to spend a few dozen million dollars (getting a competent and competitive supplier that can do stuff much more cost effectively than LM or Boeing, also GPS system suppliers).

1. I know about spacecraft and constellation maintenance

2.  Ah, yes it does. 

3.  Not when it comes to the spacecraft and requirements.

4. See #2.  Crazy talk like this discredits any real knowledge you may have.

You don't know the real requirements wrt GPS, such as NDS requirements or other unmentioned users to make the claims you do.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2014 03:59 pm by Jim »

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