Aerospace and Defense

December 14, 2017

Air Force’s First GPS III Satellite Receives Commands from OCX Ground Control Segment

The first advanced GPS III satellite successfully established remote connectivity and communicated with the Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), further validating the U.S. Air Force’s modernized Global Positioning System (GPS) is ready to launch its first satellite.

On November 2, 2017, GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01), the first of 10 GPS III satellites designed by Lockheed Martin, and OCX, being developed by Raytheon Corporation, successfully completed Factory Mission Readiness Testing (FMRT).

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By Inside GNSS

Lockheed Martin Assembles Third U.S. Air Force GPS III Satellite

The GPS III SV03 fully assembled. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

The U.S. Air Force’s third GPS III satellite in production flow at Lockheed Martin’s advanced satellite manufacturing facility in Denver is now fully integrated into a complete space vehicle.

GPS III Space Vehicle 03 (GPS III SV03) followed the first two GPS III satellites on a streamlined assembly and test production line. Technicians successfully integrated the satellite’s major components – its system module, navigation payload and propulsion core – into one fully-assembled space vehicle on August 14.

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By Inside GNSS
November 22, 2017

Contest to Build 22 New GPS III Satellites Commences Dec. 7

Air Force Space Command announced Wednesday it will begin the next phase of its plan to buy another 22 GPS III satellites in two weeks.

The November 22 posting on Fed Biz Opps (fbo.gov) said the highly anticipated Request for Proposals (RFP) would be released on or about December 7. The contract for the new space vehicles is "planned as a single, predominantly Fixed Price Incentive-type contract awarded via full and open competition for production of 22 GPS III SVs."

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By Inside GNSS

Next Tranche of GPS Satellites to be called GPS IIIFs

The Global Positioning Systems Directorate, which is poised to launch its procurement of another 22 GPS III satellites, has given its next tranche of spacecraft a name.

"We are officially calling this GPS IIIF," Col. Gerry Gleckel, the Directorate’s deputy director, told the November meeting of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board. "Just as there was a IIF that was the follow-on for the GPS II’s, this is the follow-on for the GPS III."

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By Dee Ann Divis
November 10, 2017

Lawmakers Begin Moving Military Space Management Out of the Air Force

Photo courtesy of GPS.gov.

House and Senate authorizers are forcing a reorganization of the Pentagon’s management of military space programs, giving authority to a soon-to-be-named official to prioritize space budgets across services and setting planning in motion for a possible new department. They also approved spending the full amounts requested for the military GPS programs and mandated that defense officials both test a backup to GPS and look at incorporating European and Japanese GNSS signals into military user equipment.

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By Inside GNSS
October 13, 2017

Air Force Declares First Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite “Available for Launch”

GPS III SV01 now awaits a call up to begin pre-launch preparations. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

Ushering in a new era of advanced Global Positioning System technology, the U.S. Air Force this week declared the first Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite “Available for Launch.”

The Air Force’s “AFL” declaration is the final acceptance of Lockheed Martin’s first GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV01) prior to its expected 2018 launch. GPS III SV01 will bring new capabilities to U.S. and allied military forces, and a new civil signal that will improve future connectivity worldwide for commercial and civilian users.

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By Inside GNSS
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