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The first GPS IIF navigation satellite, launched on May 27, has begun test transmission of the new civil safety-of-life signal, L5. The new dedicated and protected frequency is designed to provide increased power and reduced interference, making the signal more robust for civil navigation.Concept: BoeingThe Boeing-built GPS IIF-1 satellite (designated SVN-62) is the first with L5 designed in. The US Air Force launched an L5 demonstration payload in March 2009 on the Lockheed Martin-built GPS IIR-20 satellite (SVN-49). For GPS users, the Air Force says, the new satellite is set to "unhealthy" and the signal should not be used until the spacecraft completes its on-orbit check out in about three months. After that the satellite will be set to healthy, an advisory to users will be published and suitable GPS receivers will be able to use the signal.
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