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GPS Transportable Ground Antenna

GPS Transportable Ground Antenna

Display location: Museum rocket garden

Type: AN/TRC-202 Global Positioning System (GPS) Transportable Ground Antenna (TGA)

Antenna Specifications

  • Reflector diameter: Nominal 7 meters
  • Feed type: 5-horn Prime Focus
  • Transmit power: 2.1 Kilowatts
  • Uplink frequency: 1783.7 Mhz
  • Downlink frequency: 2227.5 Mhz

TGA Operational Satellite Contacts 2001-2006

  • Total contacts: Over 5,000
  • Good contact percentage: 98.7%

In 1990 the TGA was developed by the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) for rapid deployment to provide backup operations capability under outage conditions at any of the four worldwide GPS Ground Antennas. The TGA would be deployed with a 5-person crew and be operational within 72 hours of arriving on site. When not deployed, it would be used to support development and testing of new GPS Control Segment hardware and software.

The TGA underwent acceptance testing, functional checking, and training at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 1992. It was shipped to Diego Garcia in 1995 to support the building of the GPS Instrumentation Facility there - a relocation and refurbishment of the antenna support buildings. Upon completion of the Diego Garcia upgrade, the TGA was shipped back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where it has remained since 1996.

The TGA was the primary GPS command and control antenna at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station from 1997-2002 supporting operations while the fixed antenna was utilized for the Station Computer System Replacement upgrade, and most recently the GPS Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP) system development testing. AEP is the most significant control segment upgrade in GPS history, replacing the mainframe architecture with a distributed network system architecture. It brings capabilities such as increased accuracy, future sustainability, and the ability to command the GPS Block IIF vehicles. As the GPS fixed GAs were upgraded and modernized, the TGA remained the only legacy GPS GA. The TGA has several unique parts which made maintenance more difficult as the TGA aged. With Cape Canaveral Air Force Station being the only location housing infrastructure to support the TGA, decommissioning was approved in 2006.