GPS III satellite launches

Posted on 01 Oct 2018 and read 600 times
GPS III satellite launchesOnce the launch of next-generation GPS III satellites begins later this year, a series of updates to the current ground control system from Lockheed Martin will help the US Air Force to gain early command and control of the new satellites for testing and operations.

In 2016 and 2017, the USAF awarded Lockheed Martin two contracts — GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) and M-Code Early Use (MCEU) — which necessitated the company upgrading the existing Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP) and Operational Control System (OCS).

In April 2018, the USAF approved Lockheed Martin’s ( critical design for MCEU, essentially giving the company a ‘green light’ to proceed with software development and systems engineering for the M-Code upgrade to the legacy AEP OCS; similar approval was given to COps in November 2016.

The latter is on schedule for delivery in May 2019, the MCEU in January 2020.

Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s programme manager for Navigation Systems, said: “The first GPS III satellite is expected to be launched later this year, with nine more GPS III satellites following close behind.

“GPS III is coming soon; and as these satellites are launched, COps and MCEU will give the USAF the opportunity to integrate these satellites into the GPS constellation — and to start testing some of GPS III’s advanced capabilities even earlier.”

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