1/23/2018: Air Force announces update to GPS ground control software

Submitted by the Coast Guard Navigation Center

The U.S. Air Force recently released a memorandum to inform the GPS community of an update to the GPS ground control software that may impact some user equipment. This software update was initially applied in September 2017 and the Navigation Center (NAVCEN) received reports that the change impacted the operation of some user equipment. After being informed of the user impacts, the U.S. Air Force reverted back to the previous version. The U.S. Air Force intends to reinstall the software update no earlier than March 1, 2018 to provide time for manufacturers to bring GPS receivers into compliance with the Interface Specification.

This software update is fully compliant with Interface Specification IS-GPS-200, which defines the requirements related to the interface between the GPS space and user segments for radio frequency link 1 (L1) and link 2 (L2). A copy of the Interface Specification document is published on GPS.gov in the Technical Documentation section.

The full text of the Department of the Air Force, 50th Space Wing (AFSPC) Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center (AFSPC) Memorandum for GPS Users and User Equipment Manufacturers, dated December 20, 2017 can be found on NAVCEN’s website.

Users experiencing GPS problems are reminded that NAVCEN accepts GPS reports regarding degradations, disruptions, interference, or other incidents or anomalies on our GPS Problem Reporting webpage.

Users are encouraged to follow the below steps before reporting a GPS problem:

•Reset your device by cycling power to the unit
•Confirm the settings for your GPS unit or application
•Refer to your equipment manual
•Update your equipment software or firmware and GPS mapping software
•Contact your equipment manufacturer for additional assistance

NAVCEN is the designated point of contact for operational GPS user support to the civilian, non-aviation community. More information about NAVCEN’s missions can be found on our website.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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