23. April 2018
Lockheed Martin has submitted a proposal for the US Air Force's GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) program, adding new features to new GPS satellites. It is expected that up to 22 next-generation spacecraft will be manufactured under this program.
The first 10 of the [GPS] I Air Force satellites are currently at Lockheed Martin's GPS III processing facility near Denver. The $ 128 million facility was developed in a virtual reality environment to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of satellite production.
"When we developed our design for the first 10 GPS III we used a flexible, modular architecture that made it possible to use modern technology and new requirements of the Air Force in a low-risk system," said Johnathon Caldwell, program manager for Lockheed Martins Mission Systems released via a corporate release. "In addition, our GPS IIIF solution is based on a design that is already compatible with the Air Force operational control system ( OCX ) and the existing GPS constellation."
Lockheed Martin said the new GPS IIIF satellites will use a fully digital navigational payload, while the first 10 GPS III satellites will have a payload that is 70 percent digital.
GPS has revolutionized navigation services. The GPS III fleet is designed to increase accuracy by up to three times and noise immunity eightfold. These satellites have a planned mission duration of about 15 years – 25 percent longer than the latest GPS satellites in operation today, said Lockheed Martin.
Thanks to the civilian population signal L1C said the company GPS III satellites will be able to interact with other international global satellite navigation systems such as the European Galileo system.
The GPS IIIF satellites should be equipped with a regional military protection function. It should help to increase the support against congestion and to ensure that the US and its allies can not be denied access to GPS in hostile environments. In addition, Lockheed Martin said that each GPS IIIF satellite will contain a retroreflective laser array that will allow the satellite to be positioned with ground-based laser precision, increasing the accuracy of the positioning signals they generate.
It is expected that every GPS-IIIF satellite will be provided with a new search and rescue payload, which, according to Lockheed Martin, should be distributed around the world, and should facilitate the detection of distress signals by first responders ,
The GPS III satellite was launched in September 2017 by the Luftwaffe