Lockheed Martin has turned on power to the bus and network communications equipment payload of the US Air Force’s (USAF) second next-generation Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite.
Accomplished at the company’s Denver-area GPS III Processing Facility (GPF ), the successful powering on of the satellite, designated GPS III Space Vehicle 2 (SV-02), represents a major production milestone and demonstrates the satellite’s mechanical integration, validates its interfaces, and paves the way for electrical and integrated hardware-software testing.
Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems mission area vice-president Mark Stewart said, ”The GPS III SV-02 bus power on is a significant milestone, positioning SV-02 in line with the Air Force’s first GPS III space vehicle, SV-01, in our GPF, where both satellites are progressing through sequential integration and test work stations specifically designed for efficient and affordable satellite production.”
The GPF had received the SV-02’s propulsion core module, featuring the integrated propulsion subsystem that enables the satellite to immediately manoeuvre on orbit after launch, and also conduct repositioning manoeuvres throughout its mission life, in November 2013.
Powered on in February 2013, the first GPS III satellite (SV-01) is currently in the integration and test flow leading to delivery flight-ready to the air force.
Lockheed is currently under contract for production of the first six GPS III satellites (SV 01-06).
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, while enhancing capability to address the emerging requirements of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide.
Capable of delivering enhanced accuracy, navigation and timing services, and anti-jamming power, the satellites feature enhancements that extend its service life by 25% than the GPS block, and carry a new L1C civil signal, which ensures interoperability with other international global navigation satellite systems.
Image: An impression of USAF’s next-generation GPS III satellite in orbit. Photo: © 2013 Lockheed Martin Corporation.