Lockheed Martin’s final modernised GPS satellite begins operations

Lockheed Martin’s final modernised GPS satellite begins operations

The satellite, known as GPS IIR-21(M), was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 17th.

Lockheed Martin and its navigation payload provider, New Jersey-based ITT, designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft and subsequently modernised eight of those spacecraft designated Block IIR-M.

Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernised antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.

Lockheed Martin, along with ITT Corporation and General Dynamics, will produce the next generation of global positioning satellites, designated GPS III.

This program, which will improve position, navigation and timing services for military and civil users, is in the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase, with the first GPS IIIA satellite expected to launch in 2014.

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