Lockheed, Raytheon Complete Integrated GPS III/OCX Exercise

Lockheed, Raytheon Complete Integrated GPS III/OCX Exercise

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Company have successfully completed the third of five planned exercises to demonstrate the launch readiness of the U.S. Air Force’s next generation GPS III satellite and operational control system (OCX).


Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Company have successfully completed the third of five planned exercises to demonstrate the launch readiness of the U.S. Air Force’s next generation GPS III satellite and operational control system (OCX).

Successful completion of Exercise 3, launch and early orbit, on August 1 marked a key milestone demonstrating Raytheon’s OCX software meets mission requirements and is on track to support the launch of the first GPS III satellite, currently being produced by Lockheed Martin. Two additional readiness exercises and six 24/7 launch rehearsals are planned prior to launch of the first GPS III satellite expected to take place in 2015.

Using new installments of Raytheon’s OCX software and Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC), the GPS Directorate and industry team completed the exercise over a three-day period in late July. Exercise 3 demonstrated space-ground communications, first acquisition and transfer orbit sequences, orbit-raising maneuver planning and execution, and basic anomaly detection and resolution capabilities.

Further, the industry and customer teams jointly executed mission planning activities, such as orbit determination and the generation of upload command files. Exercise 3 expands on two previous exercises, but comprised a longer mission timeline and the introduction of simulated vehicle and ground anomalies to evaluate the combined response capabilities of the control segment, satellite, and operations crew.

“Successful completion of Exercise 3 clearly demonstrates that OCX is on track to support the first GPS III satellite launch,” said Matt Gilligan, a vice-president with Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business and Raytheon’s GPS OCX program manager. “The system responded as designed and met all of the launch exercise success criteria and successfully demonstrated our anomaly response.”

“Exercise 3 demonstrated that the cross-organizational operations team is on track to support successful GPS III launch and on-orbit checkout missions from our Newtown facility. I look forward to the team’s continued success as they progress through the complex mission readiness program towards the first GPS III launch,” said Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area.

The Lockheed Martin-developed GPS III satellites and Raytheon‘s OCX are core elements of the U.S. Air Force’s effort to modernize the GPS enterprise while improving capabilities to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial, and civilian users worldwide.

GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times more powerful anti-jamming capabilities, and include enhancements designed to extend spacecraft life more than 25 percent over the preceding GPS block. The GPS III also will carry a new civil signal, L1C, designed to be interoperable with other GNSSs, enhancing civilian user connectivity. The spacecraft bus and antenna assemblies for the first GPS III satellite have been delivered to Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility and are in the integration and test flow leading to the planned space vehicle delivery in mid-2014.

OCX is being developed in two Blocks using a commercial, “best-practice” iterative software development process, with seven iterations in Block 1 and one iteration in Block 2. Exercise 3 was conducted using the recently completed Iteration 1.4 software. Exercise 4, scheduled for early 2014, will use Iteration 1.5 software, which includes the Launch and Checkout System capability as well as all critical information assurance features needed to support launch of the first GPS III satellite.

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