Future GPS: The USA’s GPS-III Programs
Dec 12/13: Lockheed Martin in Newton, PA receives a $200.7 million cost-plus-incentive-fee modification for SV-5 and SV-6. All funds are committed immediately from FY 2013 missile budgets.
Work will be performed at Littleton, CO, and Clifton, NJ, and is expected to be complete by Dec 14/17 (SV-5) and June 14/18 (SV-6). USAF Space and Missile Systems Center Contracting Directorate at Los Angeles AFB, CA manages the contract (FA8807-08-C-0010, PO 0276).
Oct 17/13: Testing. Lockheed Martin’s full-sized GPS III Nonflight Satellite Testbed (GNST) at Cape Canaveral successfully communicates via cross-links with faithful USAF hardware simulators for the GPS IIR, GPS IIR-M, and GPS IIF satellites. It’s the 1st time GNST has communicated with flight-like hardware from the rest of the GPS constellation and with a navigation receiver. Got to keep checking off the boxes. Sources: Lockheed Martin, “Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Prototype Proves It Can Successfully Communicate With GPS Satellite Constellation”.
Oct 3/13: OCX. Raytheon Company announces that their OCX ground control system has completed its software Iteration 1.5 Critical Design Review (iCDR). It follows an Aug 1/12 announcement for Iteration 1.4′s iCDR. Iteration 1.5 software development brings OCX software development into the home stretch: it includes the mission-critical Launch and Checkout System (LCS) software, and serves as the cyber-hardened baseline to which additional capabilities will be added to complete OCX Blocks 1 and 2.
LCS recently received Interim Authority To Test certification for one year with no liens, which is a very good sign for information assurance. Full system test and evaluation will begin in late 2013, and early site integration is scheduled for early 2014 at Schriever AFB, CO and Vandenberg AFB, CA. That will be followed by acceptance testing in 2014, in preparation for an expected 2015 launch of GPS-III SV-1. Sources: Raytheon, “Raytheon completes critical design review for GPS OCX software Iteration 1.5″.
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
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