Second GPS III satellite readies for launch

May 9th, 2019, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: PositionIT, Featured: EE Publishers, Featured: PositionIT

The US Air Force’s second new GPS III satellite, bringing higher-power, more accurate and harder-to-jam signals to the GPS constellation, is ready for its July 2019 launch. The US Air Force nicknamed the GPS III SV02 “Magellan” after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

It is the most powerful and resilient GPS satellite ever put on orbit. Developed with an entirely new design, for US and allied forces, it will have three times greater accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities over the previous GPS II satellite design block, which makes up today’s GPS constellation. The new satellite will also broadcast the new L1C civil signal. Shared by other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo, the L1C signal will improve future connectivity worldwide for commercial and civilian users.

The Air Force began modernising the GPS constellation with new technology and capabilities with the 23December 2018 launch of its first GPS III satellite (GPS III SV01). GPS III SV02 is the second of ten new GPS III satellites under contract and in full production at Lockheed Martin. GPS III SV03-08 are now in various stages of assembly and test. GPS III SV01 and SV02 are expected to take their place in the currently 31 satellite strong GPS constellation, which provides positioning, navigation and timing services to more than four billion civil, commercial and military users.

In September 2018, the US Air Force selected Lockheed Martin for the GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) programme, to build up to 22 additional GPS IIIF satellites with additional capabilities. GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin’s existing modular GPS III, which was designed to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs.

Contact Lockheed Martin, www.lockheedmartin.com/gps

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