Business

November 22, 2013

Lockheed Martin GPS III satellite successfully communicates with GPS constellation

Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed, a full-sized, functional GPS III satellite prototype, now at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., recently communicated via cross-links with Air Force flight-like hardware simulators for the GPS IIR, GPS IIR-M, and GPS IIF satellites, which make up the bulk of the current GPS satellite constellation. Since July 19, the GNST has been at CCAFS, where it has helped test CCAFS’s facilities and pre-launch processes, established remote connectivity and communicated with the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System, and performed other exercises to further reducing risk and gaining efficiencies, prior the first GPS III flight satellite’s expected delivery to the U.S. Air Force in 2014 and launch in 2015.

The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] prototype of the next-generation Global Positioning System satellite, the GPS III, recently proved it was backward-compatible with the existing GPS satellite constellation in orbit.

During tests that concluded on Oct. 17, Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Nonflight Satellite Testbed, a full-sized, functional satellite prototype currently residing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, successfully communicated via cross-links with Air Force flight-like hardware simulators for the GPS IIR, GPS IIR-M, and GPS IIF satellites, which make up the bulk of the current GPS satellite constellation. Testing also demonstrated the ability of an Air Force receiver to track navigation signals transmitted by the GNST.

“These tests represent the first time when the GNST’s flight-like hardware has communicated with flight-like hardware from the rest of the GPS constellation and with a navigation receiver,” explained Paul Miller, Lockheed Martin’s director for GPS III Development. “This provides early confidence in the GPS III’s design to bring advanced capabilities to our nation, while also being backward-compatible.”

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to produce the first four GPS III satellites (SV 01-04), and has received advanced procurement funding for long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth satellites (SV 05-08). The first flight-ready GPS III satellite is expected to arrive at Cape Canaveral in 2014, for launch by the Air Force in 2015.

GPS III, a critically important program for the Air Force, will affordably replace 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; provide up to eight times more powerful anti-jamming capabilities; and include enhancements to extend spacecraft life 25 percent further than the prior GPS block. It will be the first GPS satellite with a new L1C civil signal designed to make it interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems.

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.

The GNST arrived at the Cape on July 19 to test facilities and pre-launch processes in advance of the arrival of the first flight satellite.  On Aug. 30, the GNST successfully established remote connectivity and communicated with the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System, being developed by Raytheon.

Prior to shipment to the Cape, the GNST 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 GPS III Processing Facility (GPF) in Denver, Colo.

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 including 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.


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




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>