Information technology services provider Harris has delivered an advanced navigation payload for the US Air Force’s (USAF) Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite programme.
The sixth of the total ten payloads has been delivered to Lockheed Martin.
GPS III navigation payload is fitted with a mission data unit (MDU) with a 70% digital design that links atomic clocks, radiation-hardened processors and powerful transmitters.
This will help provide the USAF with signals three times more precise than the ones delivered by current GPS satellites.
In addition, the payload helps strengthen signal power that would increase jamming resistance by eight times and extend the total lifespan of the GPS III satellite.
The current delivery marks the third navigation payload received by the company over the last year, while the seventh navigation payload is scheduled for delivery by the end of this year.
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The navigation payloads provided by Harris are already integrated on five units of the USAF’s GPS III satellite.
Last year, Harris confirmed the completion of the development of a more powerful fully digital MDU for the USAF’s GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) programme.
GPS IIIF payload design will further improve and increase the satellite’s capabilities and performance.
The USAF fixed-price-type production contract worth up to $7.2bn for up to 22 additional GPS IIIF satellites was awarded to Lockheed Martin in September.
The first GPS III space vehicle integrated with Harris payload is expected to be launched this December.