Exelis has completed factory acceptance testing of the navigation payload simulator software designed for the US Air Force’s (USAF)Global Positioning System III (GPS III) next-generation communication satellite.
Capable of simulating the behaviour of GPS signals in space, the Exelis-built software is scheduled to be used for validation of the GPS ground station, also known as the operational control system (OCX).
The software will be incorporated into the Raytheon-developed GPS System Simulator (GSYS) within the OCX system.
Exelis Geospatial Systems positioning, navigation and timing general manager Kevin Farrell said the simulator is designed to model the navigation payload function and interface with OCX.
”It provides simulation data representative of multiple GPS III space vehicles at the level needed to support control segment test events, mission rehearsals and anomaly investigations, ensuring that the OCX control system is properly functioning before launching into space,” Farrell said.
Exelis is supplying critical software elements for integration into the navigation processing subsystem under a contract awarded by Raytheon in February 2010, to help GPS constellation controllers better understand the satellites’ exact position, ensuring secure transmission of accurate navigation information to users.
Additionally, the company is manufacturing high-precision receivers for use in worldwide ground monitoring stations and data encryptors to enable secure information exchange between the GPS’s ground and space segments.
Exelis is also delivering payloads for GPS III satellites, as part of a separate contract with the satellite manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.
The GPS III is a family of next-generation satellites designed to replace USAF’s existing GPS constellation, which provides location and time information in all weather conditions.
The satellites will also be capable of delivering enhanced accuracy, navigation and timing services, and anti-jamming power to help address the evolving requirements of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide.
Image: An impression of USAF’s GPS Block III satellite in orbit. Photo: courtesy of USAF.