Harris provides navigation signals for GPS III

Harris Corporation

Wednesday, 17 April, 2019


Harris provides navigation signals for GPS III

Lockheed Martin and Harris Corporation have signed a $243 million contract that will see Harris provide fully digital navigation signals for Lockheed satellites.

The navigation signals will be provided for the first two GPS III Follow-On (GPS IIIF) satellites, aiming to deliver greater operational flexibility through stronger signals.

Harris’s GPS IIIF fully-digital Mission Data Unit (MDU), the heart of the satellite’s navigation payload which generates the GPS signals, will provide more powerful signals and assure clock operations for GPS users. It will also add flexibility to adapt to advances in GPS technology, as well as future changes in mission needs. It will provide improved capabilities over Harris’s 70% digital MDU used for GPS III Space Vehicles 01-10 (GPS III SV01-10).

The new MDU also offers the Air Force a smooth transition to its GPS OCX ground control segment. Harris will seamlessly port its digital signal design, minimising both integration risks and associated costs.

In September 2018, the US Air Force selected Lockheed Martin, with Harris as its navigation signal partner, to build up to 22 GPS IIIF satellites, with a total estimated contract value up to $7.2 billion.

The Air Force expects the first GPS IIIF satellite, SV11, to be available for launch in 2026.

Launched aboard GPS III SV01 in December 2018, Harris’s first GPS III navigation payload began broadcasting navigation signals on 8 January. Testing of the first-of-its-kind satellite continues.

Image courtesy of Harris Corporation.

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