Business

July 22, 2013

Lockheed Martin GPS III satellite prototype to help Cape Canaveral Air Force Station prep for launch

Lockheed Martin recently delivered a full-sized, functional prototype of the next-generation Global Positioning System satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to test facilities and pre-launch processes in advance of the arrival of the first GPS III flight satellite.

The GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed arrived at the Cape July 19 to begin to dry run launch base space vehicle processing activities and other testing that future flight GPS III satellites will undergo.  The first flight GPS III satellite is expected to arrive at the Cape in 2014, ready for launch by the U.S. Air Force in 2015.

The GNST arrived at the Cape by Air Force C-17 aircraft from Buckley Air Force Base near Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility in Denver, Colo.  Prior to shipment, the GNST was developed and then completed a series of high-fidelity activities to pathfind the integration, test and environmental checkout that all production GPS III satellites undergo at Lockheed Martin’s new satellite manufacturing facility.

An innovative investment by the Air Force under the original GPS III development contract, the GNST has helped to identify and resolve development issues prior to integration and test of the first GPS III flight space vehicle (SV 01).  Following the Air Force’s rigorous “Back-to-Basics” acquisition approach, the GNST has gone through the development, test and production process for the GPS III program first, significantly reducing risk for the flight vehicles, improving production predictability, increasing mission assurance and lowering overall program costs.

“We call the GNST a ‘pathfinder’ because it has truly blazed the trail for every one of our GPS III processes from initial development, production, integration and test, and now pre-launch activities,” explained Keoki Jackson, vice president for Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area.  “All future GPS III satellites will follow this same path, so the GNST was a smart initiative to help us discover and resolve any issues in advance, implement production efficiencies, and ultimately save a tremendous amount of time and money in the long run.”

GPS III is a critically important program for the Air Force, affordably replacing aging GPS satellites in orbit, while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users.  GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, include enhancements which extend spacecraft life 25 percent further than the prior GPS block, and a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract for production of the first four GPS III satellites, and has received advanced procurement funding for long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth 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 (2SOPS), 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.


 
 

 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
boeing-737

Boeing delivers first direct purchase 737-700 to Ruili Airlines

Boeing and Ruili Airlines Nov. 25 celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first direct purchase Next-Generation 737-700. Ruili is a newly established private airline based at Changshui International Airport in Kunming, th...
 
 
boeing-india

Boeing delivers sixth P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India

Boeing delivered the sixth P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India, on schedule, Nov. 24, arriving at Naval Air Station Rajali to join five others being used by the Indian Navy. The P-8I is part of a contract of eight awarded in...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
NG-people2

Northrop Grumman names communications directors for Unmanned Systems, Military Aircraft Systems

Faith Jennings Northrop Grumman has announced that industry veteran Faith Jennings, and retired Rear Adm. Vic Beck will lead Communications for its Aerospace Systems sector’s unmanned systems and military aircraft divisio...
 
 

Northrop Grumman, Air Force complete integrated baseline review

Northrop Grumman has successfully conducted the integrated baseline review of the production, deployment and initial sustainment phase for the Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment. The U.S. Air Force’s EPS provides space-enabled, secure communications capabilities to polar users in support of national objectives. EPS CAPS receives telemetry and supplies configuration command...
 




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>