Lockheed Martin powers on the first GPS III satellite

March 1, 2013
Lockheed Martin powers on the first GPS III satellite

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force's next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has turned on power to the system module of the program's first spacecraft, designated GPS III Space Vehicle One (SV-1). The milestone is a key indication the team is on track to deliver the first satellite for launch availability in 2014.

The GPS III program will affordably replace aging , while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver better accuracy and improved anti-jamming power while enhancing the spacecraft's design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global systems.

"This milestone is the latest in a series of critical events signifying that our joint government and industry GPS III team is performing efficiently and meeting its commitments," said Lt Col Todd Caldwell, the U.S. Air Force's GPS III program manager.

Successfully powering on GPS III SV-1 demonstrates mechanical integration, validates the satellite's interfaces and leads the way for electrical and integrated hardware-software testing. The satellite will complete its Assembly, Integration and Test (AI&T) in Lockheed Martin's new GPS Processing Facility (GPF) designed for efficient and affordable satellite production. Like in aircraft or automobile manufacturing, each GPS III satellite will move through sequential work stations for various AI&T operations, culminating with shipment to the launch site.

"Turning power on to the first GPS III satellite is a major milestone for the team," said Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Navigation Systems mission area. "The successful integration of the first satellite's system module follows on the heels of our pathfinder GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST), and demonstrates the great value of the investments made by the Air Force to implement low-risk acquisition. In this challenging budget environment, we are focused on delivering the critical GPS III capabilities to users affordably and on schedule."

is currently under contract for production of the first four GPS III satellites, and advanced procurement funding of long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth satellites. The Air Force plans to purchase up to 32 GPS III satellites.

Explore further: Major GPS III flight software milestone completed

Related Stories

Major GPS III flight software milestone completed

February 7, 2013

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force's next generation Global Position System III satellites has completed a key flight software milestone validating the software's ability to provide reliable and effective ...

New generation GPS satellite starts tests in Colo.

December 13, 2011

A $5.5 billion upgrade to the Global Positioning System moved a step closer to launch this week when a prototype arrived at a Lockheed Martin complex in Colorado to begin months of tests.

GPS satellites get a serious upgrade

April 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- GPS has become such an integral part of the new technology in our lives that we really do not give it much of a thought. It gets us to our destination without getting lost. It helps the ambulance to find ...

Air Force rebuts gov't auditor concerns about GPS

September 24, 2010

(AP) -- A government report raising questions about the future reliability of the Global Positioning System satellite network is "overly pessimistic," Air Force commanders said Friday.

Recommended for you

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

Cassini transmits first images from new orbit

December 7, 2016

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's ...

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

December 7, 2016

Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that Saturn's bulging core and twisting gravitational forces offer clues to the ages of the planet's moons. Astronomers now believe that the ringed planet's moons ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.