Future GPS: The USA’s GPS-III Programs
May 14/15: The Air Force has launched a tender for the launch of a next-generation Global Positioning System satellite, releasing a RFP for the launch vehicle production, mission integration and launch operations. The latest Lockheed Martin GPS-III satellite was recently announced as being ready for system testing.
May 5/15: The first GPS-III satellite currently under construction by Lockheed Martin is now ready for system testing. The satellite was connected to its propulsion system on Monday and will undergo rigorous testing in coming months. The GPS-III contract covers eight satellites, which will bring improved accuracy and anti-jamming capabilities compared to current systems.
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 2012 – 2013
FY 2010 – 2011
FY 2004 – 2009
GPS-III Program Background
Other GNSS Systems – and Alternatives
News and Views
Fill in the secure form below to activate your subscription right away (or pick another plan)