The U.S. Air Force has introduced an open-source initiative to gather input from interested companies on how to modernize the service branch’s Global Positioning System, Space News reported Friday.
Phillip Swarts writes Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy for acquisition at the Air Force, said the Plug Fest program seeks potential traditional and nontraditional partners that can help the military branch develop an open GPS architecture.
“Our intent is to have an open design so that as technology changes or the threat changes, we can integrate a new capability quicker and get it out to the field with less testing,” Bunch added, according to the report.
He added the service branch aims to build applications that would support the architecture and help increase GPS resiliency.
United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, was the sole provider of launch support services for the Defense Department‘s national security payloads before SpaceX received certification from the Air Force in 2015 to compete for similar launch services.
The Air Force awarded SpaceX a pair of contracts worth $179.2 million combined over the past year to help the branch send GPS III satellites into orbit.