This week Lockheed-Martin announced delivery of antenna assemblies for integration on the first GPS III satellite. The new GPS III satellites promise a very high degree of accuracy —three times more accurate than today's GPS satellites, and as much as eight times more powerful. They will also be compatible with international global navigation satellite systems and also harder to jam.
The new antennas for GPS III SV 01 will enable the satellite to send and/or receive data for earth-coverage and military earth-coverage navigation; provide a UHF crosslink for inter-satellite data transfer; telemetry, tracking and control for satellite-ground communications; and allow 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,” said 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.”
Recent testing of the GPS III SV 01 bus--the portion of the space vehicle that carries mission payloads and hosts them in orbit--showed all bus subsystems are functioning normally and are ready for integration with the satellite's navigation payload.
The first GPS III satellites—which can be launched two at a time—should be placed into orbit next year.
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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