USAF deploys three receivers from Lockheed for GPS monitoring stations


Lockheed Martin has completed the delivery and deployment of three receivers for the US Air Force’s (USAF) global positioning system (GPS) monitoring stations.

The monitor station technology improvement capability (MSTIC) receivers have been designed to help the airforce maintain the accuracy of GPS satellite signals for navigation and positioning applications.

The first MSTIC receiver became operational at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US, in June. The other two receivers are located at airforce monitoring stations on the Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and Hawaii, US.

Lockheed Martin Mission Solutions vice-president and general manager Vinny Sica said: “Taking advantage of current commercial technology trends has allowed us to provide the airforce with a monitoring capability that can support the airforce’s GPS mission for years to come.

“The MSTIC receiver addresses today’s obsolescence problem while providing the opportunity for the monitoring of modernised navigation signals in the future.”

"The MSTIC receiver addresses today’s obsolescence problem while providing the opportunity for the monitoring of modernised navigation signals in the future."

The MSTIC receiver’s software defined radio (SDR) technology is said to replace the hardware-based application-specific integrated circuit platform of the legacy monitor station receiver element.

Sica added: “MSTIC’s new SDR technology enables the remote application of mission specific software updates, which will improve performance and enable reception of modernised GPS signals.”

Standard interfaces and the inherent configurability of the receiver’s architecture simplify sustainment and enable MSTIC software to migrate to new hardware platforms, according to the company.

Lockheed had been contracted to develop six MSTIC receivers in total, while the remaining three MSTIC receivers will be installed by the end of this year.


Image: USAF 1st Lt Mark Skinner discusses GPS operations with general David Goldfein. Photo: courtesy of the USAF.