Lockheed Martin GPS satellite III team in preliminary design review stage

NEWTOWN, Pa., 10 Mar. 2009. The Lockheed Martin team developing the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) spacecraft, GPS III, is achieving milestones in the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) phase with the U.S. Air Force. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., along with industry partners ITT, Clifton, N.J., and General Dynamics of Gilbert, Ariz., have completed 19 out of 71 PDRs for key GPS III spacecraft subsystems and assemblies.

NEWTOWN, Pa., 10 Mar. 2009. The Lockheed Martin team developing the next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) spacecraft, GPS III, is achieving milestones in the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) phase with the U.S. Air Force.

The GPS III GPS satellite will improve position, navigation and guidance, and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior satellite navigation system security, accuracy and reliability. The first block of the new generation satellites, known as GPS IIIA, will deliver enhancements over current GPS space vehicles, including a new international civil signal (L1C), and increased M-Code anti-jam power with full earth coverage for military users.

GPS IIIA also incorporates an aggressive capability insertion program that lowers technology and integration risks associated with the capabilities planned for future GPS III satellites, says a representative. The capability insertion program will ensure a graceful growth path, minimizing re-design of the GPS IIIA satellites that are necessary to reach the full set of GPS III warfighter capabilities in future increments.

"The joint government-industry team is off to a robust start validating our requirements for this important program," says Lt. Col. Donald Frew, the U.S. Air Force GPS III program manager. "Our back-to-basics approach in the execution of GPS III is already yielding excellent results and we look forward to achieving a successful segment-level review in May."

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., along with industry partners ITT, Clifton, N.J., and General Dynamics of Gilbert, Ariz., have completed 19 out of 71 PDRs for key GPS III spacecraft subsystems and assemblies. Among them are L-Band transmitters, antennas, solar arrays, power regulation unit, all attitude control assemblies, and the Tracking Telemetry and Command (TT&C) subsystem and all TT&C assemblies. This effort will culminate in an overall GPS III Segment PDR in May to ensure the preliminary design meets warfighter and civil requirements prior to advancing into the Critical Design Review phase.

The team is working under a $1.4 billion Development and Production contract awarded in May 2008 by the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space, and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., to produce the first two GPS IIIA satellites.

First launch is projected for 2014. The contract also includes options for up to 10 additional spacecraft.

The GPS constellation provides situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and supports civil, scientific, and commercial functions.

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.

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