NEWTOWN, Pa., 5 Sept. 2009. The last in a series of eight modernized global positioning system IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellites built by Lockheed Martin has been declared operational by the U.S. Air Force for use in mil apps, and military and civilian navigation, around the world.
The satellite, known as GPS IIR-21(M), was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Aug. 17. Lockheed Martin's operations team assisted the Air Force with the launch and early on-orbit maneuvers.
"The team once again executed a smooth and disciplined on-orbit deployment and checkout of all spacecraft systems and we're extremely pleased to have another high-performance GPS IIR-M satellite in our robust constellation," said Col. Dave Madden, the U.S. Air Force GPS Wing Commander. "I salute the entire government-industry GPS IIR-M team for their talent and determination to provide advanced navigation accuracy and reliability for GPS users worldwide."
Lockheed Martin and its navigation payload provider ITT of Clifton, N.J. designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft and modernized eight of those spacecraft designated Block IIR-M.
Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.
"Reaching this milestone is a critical step in the mission to provide advanced position, timing, and navigation capabilities for the warfighter and civil users," says Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Navigation Systems. "The launch and operational turnover is a testament to the capabilities of our entire GPS team. Working together with our Air Force partner is a source of tremendous pride for Lockheed Martin."
GPS provides services such as situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military. It is also an information resource supporting a wide range of civil, scientific, and commercial functions -- from air traffic control to the Internet -- with precision location and timing information.