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Harris Delivers Navigation Payload for Third GPS 3 Satellite

By | August 9, 2017
      GPS 3 satellites under production at a Lockheed Martin facility. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

      GPS 3 satellites under production at a Lockheed Martin facility. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

      Harris Corporation has delivered the third of 10 advanced navigation payloads to Lockheed Martin, which will help increase accuracy, signal power and jamming resistance for U.S. Air Force GPS 3 satellites. The payloads feature a Mission Data Unit (MDU) with a 70 percent digital design that links atomic clocks, radiation-hardened computers and transmitters — enabling signals three times more accurate than those on current GPS satellites, according to Lockheed Martin. The new payloads also boost satellite signal power, increase jamming resistance eight-fold and help extend the satellite’s lifespan.

      Lockheed Martin expects to integrate the payload into GPS 3 Space Vehicle 3 (GPS 3 SV03) this summer. In May, Lockheed Martin integrated Harris’ second GPS 3 payload into GPS 3 SV02. The first navigation payload is already integrated aboard GPS 3 SV01, which has now completed rigorous testing and is in storage awaiting its expected 2018 launch.

      Harris is also developing a fully digital MDU for the U.S. Air Force’s GPS 3 Space Vehicles 11+ acquisition. The company will demonstrate the new MDU this fall, which provides even greater flexibility, affordability and accuracy versus existing GPS satellites.