Air Force accelerates program to provide M-Code GPS receivers to warfighters worldwide
LOS ANGELES AFB, Calif. 8 May 2015. Satellite navigation experts at L-3 Interstate Electronics Corp. (IEC) in Anaheim, Calif., are speeding their work on developing anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers with special M-code GPS capability for military operations.
Officials of the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., announced an $18.2 million contract modification to L-3 IEC Wednesday as part of the Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) program.
The deal calls for L-3 IEC to accelerate the MGUE program by providing additional pre-prototype receiver cards and test support to speed the fielding of M-Code capable GPS receivers to the warfighter, Air Force officials say.
L-3 IEC specializes in extremely rugged GPS receiver cards; some of the company's cards can be installed in GPS-guided artillery shells, bombs, and missiles.
The company also received an $8.5 million contract modification last January to accelerate MGUE work. This program has an extremely high sense of urgency within the Pentagon.
The joint-service MGUE program seeks to develop an updated set of military GPS receivers that provide accurate and reliable positioning, navigation, and timing service where current receiver performance might be compromised or unavailable.
The program seeks to address the increasing threat of enemy electronic warfare jamming of U.S. and allied GPS signals, as well as to deny the enemy the use of U.S. GPS signals. Orbiting GPS IIR-M and IIF satellites are part of the MGUE program, as are GPS III satellites that are in development.
Prototype GPS receiver electronic circuit cards built for the MGUE program are to help add new features into GPS receiver designs. The current maturity of the technology and lower risk levels than expected is enabling Air Force experts to accelerate fielding of several types of MGUE receivers to the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.
The MGUE also is developing Military Code (M-Code) signals, which are transmitted from modernized GPS satellites. These signals retain all legacy GPS receiver capabilities, yet offers high-power signals with the ability to resist jamming and interference.
M-Code signals also add security features to prevent their use by the enemy, and offer improved message formats and signal modulation for faster and more accurate performance.
The Modernized User Equipment (MUE) program has produced prototype standard-sized military GPS receivers with M-Code and legacy C/A and P(Y) codes. The MGUE program, meanwhile, is developing production-ready GPS receivers for military use.
The Air Force is supervising development of a new, more compact Common GPS Module encompassing the modernized GPS digital application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology for use in applications where size, weight, and power (SWaP) need to be minimized.
The Common GPS Module is planned to be the GPS engine for future GPS receivers and other equipment or munitions that require positioning, navigation, and timing capability.
On this contract modification L-3 IEC will do the work in Anaheim, Calif., and should be finished by September 2016.