Latest News

Second GPS 3 Satellite Ready for Environmental Testing

By | June 27, 2017
      Lockheed Martin's GPS 3 satellite production facility. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

      Lockheed Martin’s GPS 3 satellite production facility. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

      In a specialized cleanroom designed to streamline satellite production, Lockheed Martin is in full production building GPS 3, the next-generation constellation of GPS satellites. The company’s second GPS 3 satellite is now assembled and preparing for environmental testing, and the third satellite is close behind, having just received its navigation payload.

      the U.S. Air Force’s second GPS 3 satellite was fully assembled and entered into Space Vehicle (SV) single line flow when Lockheed Martin technicians successfully integrated its system module, propulsion core and antenna deck. According to Lockheed Martin, GPS 3 SV02 smoothly came together through a series of carefully orchestrated manufacturing maneuvers using a 10-ton crane.

      “Now fully-integrated, GPS 3 SV02 will begin environmental testing this summer to ensure the satellite is ready for the rigors of space,” said Mark Stewart, vice president of navigation systems for Lockheed Martin. “This testing simulates harsh launch and space environments the satellite will endure, and further reduces any risk prior to it being available for launch in 2018.”

      This next generation of GPS satellites will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities, according to the company. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest GPS satellites on-orbit today.