Library Fact Sheets
2ND SPACE OPERATIONS SQUADRON|
Printable Fact Sheet
The 2nd Space Operations Squadron is a component of the 50th Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The squadron was activated Jan. 30, 1992.
The squadron performs the satellite command and control mission for the Global Positioning System constellation.
GPS is a space-based radio navigation network whose primary mission is to provide precise positioning and timing information. The $3.6 billion GPS constellation consists of more than 30 operational satellites.
GPS is the world's largest military satellite constellation. GPS provides highly accurate, 24-hour, all-weather, position, velocity and timing data to users worldwide. Additionally, all GPS satellites carry equipment supporting the U.S. Nuclear Detonation Detection System.
GPS' precise time transfer and highly accurate positioning data has revolutionized nearly every aspect of modern warfare. GPS has enabled U.S. and allied forces to strike targets with pinpoint accuracy while reducing collateral damage. Equally important, GPS has brought significant benefits to more than three billion worldwide civilian users in diverse applications including air, road, rail and marine navigation, precision agriculture and mining, oil exploration, environmental research and management, telecommunications, electronic data transfer, construction, recreation and emergency response.
2 SOPS operates the Master Control Station at Schriever and a dedicated network of worldwide monitor stations and ground antennas to control and support this constellation.
The monitor stations track navigation signals from GPS satellites and gather data on satellite performance. This data is then processed at the MCS and is used to update the satellites' navigation messages.
The MCS sends updated navigation information to GPS satellites through ground antennas. These ground antennas are also used to transmit commands to satellites and to receive the satellites' state-of-health information.
Around the world, there are 16 geographically separated sites housing ground antennas and stations that help to fly and monitor the GPS constellation.
2 SOPS works in conjunction with their reserve counterpart, 19 SOPS, to conduct launch, anomaly resolution, and disposal operations. LADO conducts launch and early-orbit operations, including satellite activation, initial checkout and maneuvering to mission orbit. LADO also responds to all satellite emergencies, support end-of-life testing and execute satellite disposal operations as required.
The squadron originated from the 2nd Surveillance Squadron, Air Defense Command, 9th Aerospace Division, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado. The surveillance squadron, activated Jan. 16, 1962, served as intermediary between various sensor sites and higher headquarters. The squadron was deactivated on Jan. 1, 1967, but in May 1985, Air Force Space Command requested the reactivation of 2 SS, redesignated as the 2nd Satellite Control Squadron to command and control on-orbit GPS satellites. On Oct. 1, 1985, 2 SCS was activated at Falcon AFS, Colorado, the first operating squadron of the 2nd Space Wing. On Jan. 30, 1992, as part of Air Force reorganization, the 2 SCS became 2 SOPS. On June 18, 2004, the GPSOC was established. In late 2005, several National Geospatial Agency monitor stations were integrated into the network to improve navigation accuracy and signal monitoring.
Additional GPS resources:
(Current as of April 2015)