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U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory seeks smaller GPS satellites

BLOOMFIELD, N.J., 26 Jan. 2013. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is looking into the development of a small satellite navigation payload to augment the global positioning system (GPS) program. Their first step was awarding a $2.15 million contract to ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS). The GPS NAVSAT (Navigation Satellite) program seeks to provide affordable capabilities to aid end-users located in tough-to-reach environments.

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Smaller satellites will yield greater affordability for the GPS program, as well as allow for improved launch vehicle selection flexibility.

The goal of the 18-month initial study is to identify innovative ways to increase affordability and sustainment of the GPS program through payload weight reduction, size and power. The GPS NAVSAT will maintain similar performance capability to the existing GPS system, but will aid GPS end-users in signal-constrained environments, located in urban or mountainous terrain.

Work on GPS NAVSAT is performed in Clifton, N.J., and in Bloomfield, N.J.


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