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Second Lockheed Martin-Built Next Generation GPS III Satellite Responding To Commands, Under Self-Propulsion

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An artist’s idea of the next-generation GPS III world place system satellite tv for pc in orbit above the Earth. Picture Credit score: USAF

August 26, 2019 – The U.S. Air Drive’s second next-generation GPS III satellite tv for pc, constructed by Lockheed Martin, is responding to instructions, underneath management and utilizing its personal inside propulsion system to get to orbit following its profitable launch Thursday morning.

At about 9:01 a.m. MT on August 22, Air Drive and Lockheed Martin engineers at Lockheed Martin’s Launch & Checkout Facility close to Denver declared they’d full management of GPS III House Car 02 (GPS III SV02) shortly after the satellite tv for pc’s separation from its United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket booster. The satellite tv for pc, nicknamed “Magellan” by the Air Drive, started its rocket journey to area with a 7:06 a.m. MT launch from Cape Canaveral Air Drive Station.

GPS III SV02 is now climbing in direction of its operational orbit about 12,550 miles above the earth underneath the ability of its personal Liquid Apogee engines. Engineers at Lockheed Martin House’s Waterton, Colorado facility are commanding the satellite tv for pc utilizing parts of the GPS Subsequent Era Operational Management System (OCX) Block zero.

“GPS III SV02 is receiving and responding to instructions simply as
deliberate. Within the days forward, we’ll end orbit elevating to our
operational slot after which ship the satellite tv for pc instructions telling it to
deploy its photo voltaic arrays and antennas,” mentioned Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed
Martin House’s Vice President for Navigation Techniques. “As soon as we’re set
up, we’ll start on-orbit checkout and exams, together with in depth alerts
testing with our superior navigation payload.”

GPS III SV02 is the second GPS III satellite tv for pc designed and constructed by
Lockheed Martin to assist the Air Drive modernize at this time’s World
Positioning System (GPS) constellation with new expertise and
capabilities. GPS III satellites present 3x higher accuracy and as much as
8x improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III additionally gives a brand new L1C
civil sign, appropriate with different worldwide world navigation
satellite tv for pc programs, like Europe’s Galileo.

The First GPS III Satellite tv for pc Completes On Orbit Testing

GPS III SV02 would be the second GPS III satellite tv for pc in orbit and the second GPS III satellite tv for pc now being commanded from Lockheed Martin House’s facility.

On December 23, 2018, the Air Drive
launched the primary GPS III satellite tv for pc. Nicknamed “Vespucci,” GPS III SV01
underwent months of checkout and thorough testing of its superior, new
navigation payload offered by Harris Company.

“GPS III SV01’s efficiency exceeded expectations throughout testing,” Caldwell mentioned. “On July 12,
we formally accomplished all On Orbit Examine Out & Take a look at actions.
We’re excited to see this satellite tv for pc transfer to the subsequent part and carry out
in an operational atmosphere.” 

That’s anticipated to occur later this yr as soon as the primary satellite tv for pc is handed over to the Air Drive.

Considering Forward From The Floor Up

In preparation for this handover, in 2016, the Air Drive awarded Lockheed Martin the GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) contract to improve its present GPS floor management system – the Operational Management Section (OCS) – to have the ability to “fly” at this time’s 31-satellite constellation, in addition to the brand new, more-powerful GPS III satellites, till OCX Block 1, nonetheless in improvement, is delivered.

Lockheed Martin delivered the GPS III COps software program improve in Could
and it’s at the moment present process preparations for set up. 

COps is the newest GPS floor management improve challenge Lockheed Martin
has had because it started sustaining the OCS in 2013. In November 2018,
the corporate accomplished the AEP 7.5 improve — the biggest architectural
change within the system’s historical past — changing important code,
and software program to enhance the system’s cybersecurity capabilities and
positioning the Air Drive to raised function in contested, degraded and
operationally restricted environments.

In December 2018,the Air Drive awarded Lockheed Martin the GPS Management Section Sustainment II (GCS II) contract to proceed to additional modernize and maintain the OCS via 2025.

In 2020, the OCS is anticipated to obtain the M-Code Early Use (MCEU)
improve, which can permit management of M-Code, a sophisticated, new sign
designed to enhance anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, in addition to to
improve safe entry to navy GPS alerts for U.S. and allied armed

With GPS III SV01 and SV02 now on orbit, GPS III satellites proceed
to roll off the manufacturing line at Lockheed Martin’s superior $128-million GPS III Processing Facility close to Denver. On Could 27,
the Air Drive declared the GPS III SV03 “Obtainable for Launch” (AFL)
and had the corporate place it into storage ready for a launch date. GPS
III SV04-08 at the moment are in varied phases of meeting and take a look at.

In all, Lockheed Martin is underneath contract to construct as much as 32
next-generation GPS III/IIIF satellites for the Air Drive. Extra
“IIIF” capabilities will start being added on the 11th satellite tv for pc.
These will embody a completely digital navigation payload, a Regional
Navy Safety functionality, an accuracy-enhancing laser
retroreflector array, and a Search & Rescue payload.

Lockheed Martin is proud to be part of the Air Drive’s GPS III
crew. The GPS III crew is led by the Manufacturing Corps, Mid-Earth Orbit
Division, on the U.S. Air Drive House and Missile Techniques Heart. Air
Drive House Command’s 2nd House Operations Squadron (2SOPS), primarily based at
Schriever Air Drive Base, Colorado, manages and operates the GPS constellation for each civil and navy customers.

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