Future GPS: The USA’s GPS-III Programs
User equipment R&D contract, after GAO’s reminder of why those matter.
May 14/14: MGUE. Raytheon in El Segundo, CA receives a $22 million modification for MGUE (military global positioning system user equipment) software coding and security, bringing the total cumulative face value to $51.8 million. They need to finish the GPS receiver cards software coding, and perform security certification. The GAO has explained why this component of GPS-III is so important (q.v. March 12/14).
$7 million in FY 2014 USAF RDT&E funds are committed immediately. Work will be performed at El Segundo, CA and is expected to be completed by Aug 31/15. USAF Space and Missile Systems Center Contracting Directorate in El Segundo, CA manages the contract (FA8807-12-C-0012, PO 0015).
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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