Future GPS: The USA’s GPS-III Programs
December 26/18: GPSIII work The Space and Missile Systems Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado is awarding an IDIQ contract to Lockheed Martin. The order is priced at $462 million and covers for Global Positioning Systems Control-Segment Sustainment II work. Lockheed will provide the service with depot-level software maintenance; organizational-level hardware and software maintenance; systems engineering; Technical Order Management Agency support; maintenance and sustainment of the consolidated test environment as well as support to and integration of GPS Acquisition Category III programs onto the operational control system platform. The GPS III ground control segment is equipped with ground hardware and software that offers command and control for global satellite operations centres’ networks, ground antennas and monitor stations used to control the massive satellite constellation. DOD’s first most powerful satellite was launched to space with a SpaceX provided rocket on December 23, 2018. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2025.
GPS-III satellites, in conjunction with their companion OCX ground control, system are the Global Positioning System (GPS) future. They offer big advantages over existing GPS-II satellites and GCS, but most of all, they have to work. Disruption or decay of the critical capabilities provided by the USA’s Navstar satellites would cripple both the US military, and many aspects of the global economy.
The time-based GPS service is the most-used application of Einstein’s Theories of Relativity. GPS has become part of civilian life in ways that go go far beyond those handy driving maps, including crop planting, timing services for stock trades, and a key role in credit card processing. At the same time, military class (M-code) GPS guidance can now be found in everything from cruise missiles and various precision-guided bombs, to battlefield rockets and even artillery shells. Combat search and rescue radios rely on this line of communication, and so does a broadening array of individual soldier equipment.
This DII FOCUS article looks at the existing constellation, GPS-III improvements, the program’s structure, its progress through contracts and key milestones, and extensive PTN (Positioning, Timing & Navigation)/ GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) research links.
GPS: The Existing Array
The GPS III Program
OCX & MGUE: New Ground Control & Receivers
GPS-III: Contracts and Key Events
FY 2014 – 2016
FY 2012 – 2013
FY 2010 – 2011
FY 2004 – 2009
GPS-III Program Background
Other GNSS Systems – and Alternatives
News and Views
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