Space

November 21, 2012

Lockheed Martin completes critical environmental test on GPS III Pathfinder

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has completed thermal vacuum testing for the Navigation Payload Element of the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed.

The milestone is one of several environmental tests verifying the navigation payload’s quality of workmanship and increased performance compared to the current generation of satellites.

The GPS III program will affordably replace aging GPS satellites, while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver better accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while enhancing the spacecraft’s design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.

“GPS III satellites have the most advanced navigation payloads ever manufactured. This milestone is a key indicator that we have a solid design and are on track to provide unprecedented position, navigation, and timing capability for GPS users worldwide,” said Lt Col Todd Caldwell, the U.S. Air Force’s GPS III program manager.

During thermal vacuum testing, the navigation payload’s performance was proven in a vacuum environment at the extreme hot and cold temperatures it will experience on orbit to ensure it will operate as planned once in space. Following the test, the NPE will now be integrated with the GNST for final satellite level testing.

The GNST is a full-sized prototype of a GPS III satellite used to identify and solve development issues prior to integration and test of the first space vehicle. The approach significantly reduces risk, improves production predictability, increases mission assurance and lowers overall program costs. Following integration and test at Lockheed Martin’s GPS Processing Facility near Denver, the GNST will be shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., for risk reduction activities at the launch site.

“The completion of thermal vacuum testing on our first navigation payload is a critical milestone for our program that demonstrates we are on a solid path to meet our commitments,” said Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area. “The Air Force’s early investment in our GPS III pathfinder is now paying off and will enable highly efficient and affordable satellite production going forward.”

Lockheed Martin is on contract to deliver the first four GPS III satellites for launch. The Air Force plans to purchase up to 32 GPS III satellites.

The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin is the GPS III prime contractor with teammates ITT Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell, ATK and other subcontractors. Air Force Space Command’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron, based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

NASA Hubble instruments highlight new National Air and Space Museum exhibit

Two instruments that played critical roles in discoveries made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope now are on display in an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. “Repairing Hubble” recognizes the 24th anniversary of Hubble’s launch into space aboard space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. The exhibit features Hubble’s Corrective...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio

NASA satellites show drought may take toll on Congo rainforest

Image courtesy of NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio In the Congo rainforest, a browning trend (brown) dominates smaller areas that show a greening trend (green) during April, May and June each year from 2000 to 2012. A ...
 
 

Second series of CASIS-sponsored research payloads launch to ISS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station onboard the Space Exploration Technology Corporation’s Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research...
 

 

NASA selects commercial crew program manager

NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation’s space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies. “This is a particularly critical time for...
 
 
NASA image by Kathy Reilly

NASA innovative advanced concept program seeks phase II proposals

NASA image by Kathy Reilly This artist’s concept conveys elements of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program – creative and forward-thinking approaches to aerospace architecture, mission, and system concep...
 
 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>