Northrop Grumman will provide 48 more self-deploying, monopole JIB antennas for Global Positioning System (GPS III) satellites under a follow-on contract from Lockheed Martin.
The work will be carried out by Astro Aerospace, a strategic business unit of Northrop Grumman.
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With an adaptable design configuration, JIBs can be tailored to specific applications; they are available in monopole diameters from Ω inch to 1 3/8 inches and any length up to 25 feet. Each antenna stows in a compact 4-inch by 4-inch by 2.5-inch canister.
“The GPS constellation is a key U.S. asset used by millions around the globe every day. The antennas we supply are designed to help Lockheed Martin and the Air Force meet affordability and mission assurance goals for the next generation of GPS satellites,” said John Alvarez, Astro Aerospace general manager. “GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability.”
The follow-on contract continues Northrop Grumman’s support to the GPS satellite constellation, having delivered more than 1,000 JIB assemblies for the previous GPS IIF and GPS IIR spacecraft configurations. In 2011, the company delivered 16 JIB antennas for the first two GPS III satellites.
The U.S. Air Force develops, maintains and operates the GPS, a constellation of over 24 satellites maintained on-orbit to provide worldwide navigational information. GPS III satellites are under development by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin in Newtown, Pa. The first GPS III is scheduled to join the on-orbit constellation in 2015.
For 50 years, Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace business unit has pioneered the technology of space-deployable structures and mechanisms, including AstroMesh reflectors. All of the company’s hardware has a 100 percent success rate for on-orbit deployments covering hundreds of space flight missions.