Lockheed Martin completes functional testing of first GPS III satellite bus electronic systems

Jun 06, 2013

A Lockheed Martin-led industry team has completed successful functional integration tests of the spacecraft bus and network communications equipment on the first satellite of the next generation Global Positioning System, known as GPS III.

The recent testing of GPS III space vehicle 1 (SV 1) bus – the portion of the space vehicle that carries mission payloads and hosts them in orbit – assured that all bus subsystems are functioning normally and ready for final integration with the satellite's navigation . Systems tested included: guidance, navigation and control; command & data handling; on-board computer and flight software; environmental controls; and electrical power regulation. The SV 1 satellite's network communication equipment subsystem that interfaces with the ground control segment and distributes data throughout the also passed all tests as expected.

This milestone follows February's successful initial power-on of SV 1, which demonstrated the electrical-mechanical integration, validated the satellite's interfaces and led the way for functional and hardware-software integration testing.

"The successful completion of the SV 1 bus functional check out validates that the spacecraft is now ready to begin the next sequence of payload integration and environmental testing, prior to delivery," explained Keoki Jackson, vice president of 's Navigation Systems mission area.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

GPS III SV 1's navigation payload, which is being produced by ITT Exelis, will be delivered to Lockheed Martin's GPS Processing Facility (GPF) near Denver later in 2013. The hosted nuclear detection system payload has already been delivered and mechanically integrated. The satellite remains on schedule for flight-ready delivery to the U.S. Air Force in 2014.

GPS III is a critically important program for the Air Force, affordably replacing aging GPS satellites in , while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy and – to outpace growing global threats that could disrupt GPS service – up to eight times improved anti-jamming signal power for additional resiliency. The GPS III will also include enhancements adding to the spacecraft's design life and a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract for production of the first four GPS III satellites (SV 1-4), and has received advanced procurement funding for long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth satellites (SV 5-8).

The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the GPS III prime contractor with teammates ITT Exelis, General Dynamics, Infinity Systems Engineering, Honeywell, ATK and other subcontractors. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

Explore further: Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

More information: GPS III Product Page

Related Stories

Lockheed Martin powers on the first GPS III satellite

Mar 01, 2013

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 G ...

Major GPS III flight software milestone completed

Feb 07, 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 re ...

New generation GPS satellite starts tests in Colo.

Dec 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.

Recommended for you

New project aims to establish a human colony on Mars

1 hour ago

MarsPolar, a newly started international venture is setting its sights on the Red Planet. The project consisting of specialists from Russia, United Arab Emirates, Poland, U.S. and Ukraine has come up with a bol ...

Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

22 hours ago

The latest views of Ceres' enigmatic white spots are sharper and clearer, but it's obvious that Dawn will have to descend much lower before we'll see crucial details hidden in this overexposed splatter of ...

Rosetta's view of a comet's "great divide"

22 hours ago

The latest image to be revealed of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comes from October 27, 2014, before the Philae lander even departed for its surface. Above we get a view of a dramatically-shadowed cliff ...

How long will our spacecraft survive?

22 hours ago

There are many hazards out there, eager to disrupt and dismantle the mighty machines we send out into space. How long can they survive to perform their important missions?

Why roundworms are ideal for space studies

23 hours ago

Humans have long been fascinated by the cosmos. Ancient cave paintings show that we've been thinking about space for much of the history of our species. The popularity of recent sci-fi movies suggest that ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gwrede
not rated yet Jun 06, 2013
Wow, that video was way over the top. It turned into a parody of suggestive brand adherence commercials. On could imagine a room full of old James Bond film style generals watching videos like this, interspersed with power-points about the need for and superiority of (put your brand here) newest gadgets. At the end of the day they walk home like zombies from Manchuria, murmuring "Lockheed Martin, gotta have, GPS, need satellites" over and over again.

And yet, spin-offs from technology for the military have given us more essential technology than spin-offs from space technology.

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.