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Lockheed Martin Delivers Antenna Assemblies For Next Generation GPS Satellite

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Lockheed Martin says that it has completed and is preparing to install the payload antenna assemblies for the first satellite of the next generation Global Positioning System, known as GPS III.

The antenna designs enable three to eight times greater anti-jamming signal power to be broadcast to military users across the globe when compared to previous GPS generations.

The new antennas for GPS III will provide the satellite's capability to send and/or receive data for earth-coverage and military earth-coverage navigation; a UHF crosslink for inter-satellite data transfer; telemetry, tracking and control for satellite-ground communications; and data acquisition and communication for the nuclear detection system hosted payload.

"These antennas on the next generation of GPS III satellites will transmit data utilized by more than one billion users with navigation, positioning and timing needs," explained Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Navigation Systems mission area. "We have become reliant on GPS for providing signals that affect everything from cell phones and wristwatches, to shipping containers and commercial air traffic, to ATMs and financial transactions worldwide."

GPS III is a critically important program for the Air Force, replacing aging GPS satellites in orbit, while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, include enhancements which extend spacecraft life 25 percent further than the prior GPS block, and a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.

The production of the first GPS III satellite continues on schedule. Recent testing of the SV 01 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 that they are ready for final integration with the satellite's navigation payload.

This milestone follows February's successful initial power on of the SV 01 spacecraft bus, which demonstrated the electrical-mechanical integration, validated the satellite's interfaces and led the way for functional electrical hardware-software integration testing.

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