Out With The Old, In With The New

The 1st Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colo. last week shut down operations of its legacy satellite control system called the Command and Control Segment. The end of the CCS on Dec. 28 came less than a week after it supported the launch of a new Global Positioning Satellite Block IIR-M spacecraft and only minutes after a state-of-health operation that allowed satellite operators to “successfully resuscitate and transfer back into the active GPS constellation” another, already-on-orbit GPS satellite. “This is a significant emotional event for some of the people in this room today,” Col. Terry Djuric, 50th Space Wing boss, said of the CCS phaseout. The squadron first used CCS, which IBM designed under a 1981 contract, in February 1989. The system had a 97-percent success rate over a lifetime of more than 320,000 sorties, according to Lt. Col. Erik Eliasen, 1st SOPS commander. In addition to GPS, 1st SOPS used CCS to control various other satellites, including the Defense Support Program, Defense Satellite Communications System, Milstar, and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft. The squadron now is preparing for the use of new control systems later this year, including the Harris OS/COMET control system, slated for the yet-to-be-launched Space Based Surveillance System satellite. (USAF report by Capt. Michael Duncan) (Last fall, the 2nd SOPS traded in its GPS mission control legacy system for the new Architecture Evolution Plan system.)