Lockheed Martin delivered the GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) software upgrade to the U.S. Air Force‘s current GPS ground control system on May 22. The upgrade aims to help enable the Air Force to start commanding the new, next-generation GPS III satellites now coming off the production line and beginning to launch.
“Positioning, Navigation and Timing is a critical mission for our nation and COps will allow the Air Force to gain early access to its new GPS III satellites,” said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Navigation Systems. “We just finished Final Qualification Testing and delivery on COps, and it will be integrated and installed on the AEP OCS over the summer. We look forward to the Air Force ‘flying’ a GPS constellation on the COps OCS which includes the new GPS III satellites, later this year.”
Additionally, Harris Corporation provided Lockheed Martin with its seventh of 10 advanced navigation payloads contracted for the U.S. Air Force’s GPS III satellite program. The GPS III navigation payload features a Mission Data Unit (MDU) with a unique 70-percent digital design that links atomic clocks, radiation-hardened processors and powerful transmitters – enabling signals up to three times more accurate than any GPS satellites currently in operation. The payload also boosts signal power, which increases jamming resistance by eight times and helps extend the satellite’s lifespan.
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