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Raytheon’s GPS OCX Passes Tests Ahead of GPS III Launch

By | November 5, 2018


The Block 0/Launch and Checkout System infrastructure. Photo: Raytheon

The Block 0/Launch and Checkout System infrastructure. Photo: Raytheon

Raytheon’s Next-Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX) completed a round of testing, preparing the program for its use on the GPS III launch next month. The tests were cybersecurity vulnerability assessments that tested the system’s ability to defend against both internal and external cyber threats. GPS OCX prevented the broadcast of corrupt navigation and timing data in all tests.

GPS OCX is the ground control segment of a U.S. Air Force-led effort to modernize America’s Geospatial Intelligence System (GPS) system. The program has implemented 100 percent of the Department of Defense’s 8500.2 Defense in Depth information assurance standards without waivers, giving it the highest level of cybersecurity protections of any Department of Defense (DOD) space system.

The first tests took place April 2-13, 2018, and were led by a contracted team that aimed to breach the system from within its information assurance boundary. The second round of tests took place May 16-20, 2018, and were led by an Air Force team of cyber-penetration testers who tried to breach the system’s IA boundary from outside. The system worked as designed, validating it is secure. The assessments took place on the launch and checkout system, GPS OCX Block 0, which was delivered to the U.S. Air Force last year as a fully cyber-secure satellite ground system.