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sci.geo.satellite-nav (Global Satellite Navigation) (sci.geo.satellite-nav) Discussion of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). Topics include the technical aspects of GNSS operation, user experiences in the use of GNSS, information regarding GNSS products and discussion of GNSS policy (such as GPS selective availability).

Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 1st 13, 02:42 AM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
Sam Wormley[_2_]
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Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy

Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy
http://www.insidegnss.com/node/3538



The Air Force will decide this fall whether to build more GPS III
satellites or move to a new generation of spacecraft, the leader of
Air Force Space Command told Congress last week.

Were on contract right now . . . through (GPS III) satellite
vehicle number eight. Satellite vehicles nine and beyond the
acquisition strategy for that will be debated in the fall, General
William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), told
the House Armed Services Committee on April 25.

The issue is cost. The price of the spacecraft and of getting them
into orbit has escalated to the point that the program no longer
appears affordable, sources familiar with the issue told Inside GNSS.
One source said that a decision has already been made to stretch out
the launches of the GPS III satellites to the point that there are
no launches planned for 2017.


  #2  
Old May 1st 13, 08:08 AM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
miso
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Posts: 110
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III SatelliteBuy

I thought technology gets cheaper as time goes on. What am I missing here?
  #3  
Old May 1st 13, 01:51 PM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
Sam Wormley[_2_]
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Posts: 775
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III SatelliteBuy

On 5/1/13 2:08 AM, miso wrote:
I thought technology gets cheaper as time goes on. What am I missing here?


1. Launch cost
2. New satellite have so much more than older satellites


  #4  
Old May 1st 13, 07:22 PM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
matt weber[_2_]
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Posts: 3
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy

On Wed, 01 May 2013 00:08:26 -0700, miso wrote:

I thought technology gets cheaper as time goes on. What am I missing here?

Civilians are least somewhat sensitive to price/performance, and
unless you really want to be absolute cutting edge, those costs come
down over time.

OTOH, the military wants performance at any price, and over time, they
find more and more way to 'gold plate' the products, which means that
the price goes up over time, often astronomically.
Add that to the fact that every day contractors look for ways to
further gold plate the product so they can get even more money for it.

I suggest you obtain a copy of Augustine's Laws, and it will provide
vast insight into why these costs escalate far faster than the rate of
inflation...
  #5  
Old May 2nd 13, 02:25 AM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
miso
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Posts: 110
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III SatelliteBuy

On 5/1/2013 5:51 AM, Sam Wormley wrote:
On 5/1/13 2:08 AM, miso wrote:
I thought technology gets cheaper as time goes on. What am I missing
here?


1. Launch cost
2. New satellite have so much more than older satellites


Well that I read. But there are more companies than every doing launches.

What is the "more" the new satellites have?
  #6  
Old May 2nd 13, 06:37 PM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
Alan Browne
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Posts: 1,339
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III SatelliteBuy

On 2013.04.30 21:42 , Sam Wormley wrote:
Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy
http://www.insidegnss.com/node/3538



The Air Force will decide this fall whether to build more GPS III
satellites or move to a new generation of spacecraft, the leader of
Air Force Space Command told Congress last week.

Were on contract right now . . . through (GPS III) satellite
vehicle number eight. Satellite vehicles nine and beyond the
acquisition strategy for that will be debated in the fall, General
William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), told
the House Armed Services Committee on April 25.

The issue is cost. The price of the spacecraft and of getting them
into orbit has escalated to the point that the program no longer
appears affordable, sources familiar with the issue told Inside GNSS.
One source said that a decision has already been made to stretch out
the launches of the GPS III satellites to the point that there are
no launches planned for 2017.


By 2017 the constellation of Galileo should be pretty rich if not
complete. Between GLONASS, Galileo and GPS, there will be more than
enough satellites up there to satisfy most civil GNSS needs. Combined
GPS/GLONASS chipsets abound, and there is no doubt that combined
GPS/GLONASS/Galileo chipsets will become common as the constellation
fills out.

The potential impact on civil aviation is a worry, however, as most
certified receivers are GPS only. A shortage of on orbit GPS satellites
could cause single source GPS RAIM outage regions/periods.

--
"A Canadian is someone who knows how to have sex in a canoe."
-Pierre Berton

  #7  
Old May 2nd 13, 10:20 PM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
[email protected]
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Posts: 25
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy

Em quarta-feira, 1 de maio de 2013 04h08min26s UTC-3, miso escreveu:
I thought technology gets cheaper as time goes on. What am I missing here?


Military projects almost never get cheaper, because:
- pork&barrel politics (spread the cost throughout congressional districts instead of lowest possible cost)
- lack of real competition (only a duopoly of suppliers)
- the US military always worked with make it the best in the world, cost don't matter
- there's huge improper cozyness between congress and defense contractors
- people outside the game that ask really hard questions are always outcasts like me
- demanding cost savings isn't sexy, and is very unpopular

If it were up to me, all projects would be fixed cost, PERIOD, if necessary, have a design competition competition first as a fixed cost project, then the winner gets a fixed cost project to do the main work.

Just look at the SpaceX case, they're offering space launches at less than half price of Boeing / Lockheed Martin launches. Boeing / Lockheed Martin / DOD got so cozy with their relationship they created the United Launch Aliance, essentially a launch cartel.

Now it has to be acknowledged that GPS satellite functionality has skyrocketed throughout GPS I ... II ... IIA ... IIR ... IIR-M ... IIF ... IIIA. The obsession with stuffing each generation with a mission impossible of more technical features cuminating with the fiasco of GPS IIF (huge delay and cost overrun).

Finally the military chain of command mentality doesn't lead to individual initiatives to make things better, most times the junior officers know exactly what to do, with almost zero leeway in carrying their orders, not to mention actually thinking of something better along the way.
  #8  
Old May 2nd 13, 10:32 PM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
[email protected]
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Posts: 25
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy

Em tera-feira, 30 de abril de 2013 22h42min56s UTC-3, Sam Wormley escreveu:
Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III Satellite Buy

http://www.insidegnss.com/node/3538






The Air Force will decide this fall whether to build more GPS III


satellites or move to a new generation of spacecraft, the leader of


Air Force Space Command told Congress last week.




�We�re on contract right now . . . through (GPS III) satellite


vehicle number eight. Satellite vehicles nine and beyond � the


acquisition strategy for that � will be debated in the fall,� General


William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), told


the House Armed Services Committee on April 25.




The issue is cost. The price of the spacecraft � and of getting them


into orbit � has escalated to the point that the program no longer


appears affordable, sources familiar with the issue told Inside GNSS.


One source said that a decision has already been made to stretch out


the launches of the GPS III satellites � to the point that there are


no launches planned for 2017.


It's insane, between satellites built and on ordered, there's 9 IIF and 8 IIIA, 17 total, more than half of a full constellation. I questioned this a lot, if you order 8 IIIA birds, then the IIIB project will be way out there..

Always question congressman opinions stating we should start over with a new generation, stating the cost has run so high, by starting over, they can disregard all the cost overruns, and get a chance to overrun once again !

What really needs to be cut is the launch costs, but pork & barrel arrangements make that a very unpopular proposition with congressman from areas with Boeing and Lockheed Martin facilities. That's the largest vice of the current defense industry complex, congress won't stomach the job losses stemming from their absurdly inneficient pork barrel arrangements. SpaceX alone will be able to handle all planned US govt space launches in a few years if the process would be openned up. Not to mention the other alternatives that are just becoming a reality (antares rocket).

Just look at the discussion between the US Army and Congress, where the US Army states they have more Abrahms tanks than they need for another 4+ yrs, but Congress won't allow tank production to stop, even though there's a huge stockpile of new tanks with no use.
  #9  
Old May 2nd 13, 11:03 PM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
Alan Browne
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Posts: 1,339
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III SatelliteBuy

On 2013.05.02 17:20 , wrote:
Em quarta-feira, 1 de maio de 2013 04h08min26s UTC-3, miso
escreveu:
I thought technology gets cheaper as time goes on. What am I
missing here?


Military projects almost never get cheaper, because: - pork&barrel
politics (spread the cost throughout congressional districts instead
of lowest possible cost) - lack of real competition (only a duopoly
of suppliers) - the US military always worked with make it the best
in the world, cost don't matter - there's huge improper cozyness
between congress and defense contractors - people outside the game
that ask really hard questions are always outcasts like me -
demanding cost savings isn't sexy, and is very unpopular

If it were up to me, all projects would be fixed cost, PERIOD, if
necessary, have a design competition competition first as a fixed
cost project, then the winner gets a fixed cost project to do the
main work.


That's how the F-35 was borne. First the government paid Boeing and
Lockheed to design their respective versions of the ATF. They selected
Lockheed.

In the real world, esp. where there are a lot of unknowns going into the
program, no contractor would commit to fixed cost and the government
would not get what it wants or needs.

Also in the real world, when programs last 5, 10, 20 years, there are
inevitably scope changes over the course of the program. These drive up
the costs further. There are many things that happen over the course of
these programs - the classic being the reduction in production quantity
and rate of build thereby resulting in higher unit costs.

Just look at the SpaceX case, they're offering space launches at less
than half price of Boeing / Lockheed Martin launches. Boeing /
Lockheed Martin / DOD got so cozy with their relationship they
created the United Launch Aliance, essentially a launch cartel.


True they are more expensive. They also lift heavier and larger
payloads into higher orbits. The SpaceX current booster is considered a
medium booster whereas the ULA have medium and heavy capability.

There is also the scope of work that needs to be considered. SpaceX
scope is much narrower in a contractual sense than the scope taken on by
ULA.

I won't do a blow by blow comparison. Who has the time. But you're
comparing apples and pumpkins.

Now it has to be acknowledged that GPS satellite functionality has
skyrocketed throughout GPS I ... II ... IIA ... IIR ... IIR-M ... IIF
... IIIA. The obsession with stuffing each generation with a mission
impossible of more technical features cuminating with the fiasco of
GPS IIF (huge delay and cost overrun).

Finally the military chain of command mentality doesn't lead to
individual initiatives to make things better, most times the junior
officers know exactly what to do, with almost zero leeway in carrying
their orders, not to mention actually thinking of something better
along the way.


GPS design and contracting is mainly civilians, not military personnel.


--
"A Canadian is someone who knows how to have sex in a canoe."
-Pierre Berton
  #10  
Old May 3rd 13, 08:05 AM posted to sci.geo.satellite-nav
miso
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Posts: 110
Default Air Force Examining Broader Options for Next GPS III SatelliteBuy

On 5/2/2013 3:03 PM, Alan Browne wrote:
On 2013.05.02 17:20 , wrote:
Em quarta-feira, 1 de maio de 2013 04h08min26s UTC-3, miso
escreveu:
I thought technology gets cheaper as time goes on. What am I
missing here?


Military projects almost never get cheaper, because: - pork&barrel
politics (spread the cost throughout congressional districts instead
of lowest possible cost) - lack of real competition (only a duopoly
of suppliers) - the US military always worked with make it the best
in the world, cost don't matter - there's huge improper cozyness
between congress and defense contractors - people outside the game
that ask really hard questions are always outcasts like me -
demanding cost savings isn't sexy, and is very unpopular

If it were up to me, all projects would be fixed cost, PERIOD, if
necessary, have a design competition competition first as a fixed
cost project, then the winner gets a fixed cost project to do the
main work.


That's how the F-35 was borne. First the government paid Boeing and
Lockheed to design their respective versions of the ATF. They selected
Lockheed.

In the real world, esp. where there are a lot of unknowns going into the
program, no contractor would commit to fixed cost and the government
would not get what it wants or needs.



But you didn't mention how badly the F-35 is over budget.

I suggest getting a copy of the book "Boyd", or at least listening to
the NPR podcast with the author. Boyd and his mafia were responsible for
the F-15, F16, and the A-10. Indirectly they were responsible for the
F-18. These are planes that truly stood the test of time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bo..._strategist%29

Good family man...well no. Single minded pain the ass? Yes. Used the
ties of generals as ash trays? Well yes so the story goes.


 




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