Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP)

The Air Force currently commands and controls the operational GPS constellation through a system called AEP. The system is capable of managing all of today's GPS satellites including Block IIF.

AEP refers to the Architecture Evolution Plan implemented in 2007. Under this plan, the Air Force replaced its original, mainframe-based GPS master control station with an entirely new one built on modern IT technologies.

Airman at computer console The AEP system improved the flexibility and responsiveness of GPS operations and paved the way forward for the next generation of GPS space and control capabilities.

Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf products, AEP also improved GPS monitor stations and ground antennas, substantially enhancing sustainability and accuracy.

AEP features an alternate master control station — a fully operational backup for the master control station.

AEP has received several upgrades since 2007, including the 2014 addition of CNAV capabilities allowing GPS Block IIR-M and IIF satellites to broadcast pre-operational navigation messages on the L2C and L5 signals.

Lockheed Martin is under contract to sustain the GPS ground control segment, including AEP, through June 2019.

In the future, AEP and the entire GPS control segment will be replaced by the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX).

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