Help Launch a GPS Satellite


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It's been said that sharing is caring.  Perhaps that's why the Air Force Collaboratory was created.

For the first time, the Air Force has  opened up three real-world, unclassified projects for open collaboration.  It pools some of the best minds in physics and astronomy (students, teachers and professionals) to help solve real world problems. The projects range in scope and applications, but the idea was for those that qualify to work with a community of peers alongside real Airmen on real Air Force projects. For instance:

  1. The first project, “Search and Rescue 2.0”,  developed new technologies through rapid prototyping for search and rescue operations to help save lives trapped in collapsed structures
  2. The second project, “Mind of a Quadrotor”,  challenged participants to help build a system that allows a quadrotor to navigate its surroundings with minimal human interaction.
  3. At present, the third project, “Launch of GPS IIF,” launched this month and ending on Nov. 30, tests participants to determine the most effective location within the GPS satellite constellation to launch the Air Force’s newest GPS satellite.

These satellites directly support the mapping GPS system that all of us use on our phones, computers and in the car. As consumers we take our mapping websites and mobile Apps for granted.  Many don't realize the Air Force initially created the inter-locking satellite system to support their efforts around the globe, but have made the satellites available to the world in order to more precisely provide directions and information. For that we say; "Thank You!"

Another way to express appreciation is to support this third and last project. Students, educators and innovators with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics have a unique opportunity to help the U.S. Air Force determine the most effective location to launch its newest GPS satellite.

The GPS IIF series is the next generation of Air Force GPS satellites, an integral part of a space-based navigation system that gives three-dimensional location, velocity and timing information for GPS users around the world. Advances created from this project will enhance navigation and positioning, which can save lives in search and rescue and humanitarian efforts.

So collaborate.  Help launch a GPS satellite. It can help save lives and make life better -  for everyone. For more information or submission instructions,  visit the Air Force Collaboratory


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