SSC’s GPS certifications branch
The United States Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) has a specialized branch responsible for certifying GPS accuracy called the GPS Certification Branch. It is a specialized team within SSC that is responsible for certifying the hardware, software, and firmware used in GPS-based systems.
The certification process conducted by SSC’s GPS Certification Branch involves the evaluation of design and testing for various components of GPS-based systems. This includes user equipment — the devices used by individuals or organizations to receive GPS signals and determine their precise location.
The GPS Certification Branch works with GPS manufacturers, agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and others to establish and maintain certification standards. Collaboration with industry experts, research institutions, and other certification bodies is also an important aspect of the branch’s work to stay informed about technological advancements and ensure the certification process remains up to date with the latest developments.
The certification process also includes space segments — the satellites that transmit the GPS signals, monitoring stations, which track and monitor the performance of the GPS satellites, and the terrestrial modules — that provide end user secured and accurate signals.
Certification of hardware, software, and firmware is critical to ensure that GPS systems meet the standards set by the DOD. This certification ensures that the GPS-based systems used by the military and other DOD agencies are reliable, accurate, and secure. It also ensures that they are interoperable and compatible with other military equipment and communication networks.
The assessment process conducted by the GPS Certification Branch involves thorough testing and analysis of the design, performance, and security of the GPS components. This includes assessing the hardware’s ability to receive and process GPS signals accurately, the software’s ability to interpret and utilize the GPS data effectively, and the firmware’s ability to maintain system integrity and security.