Lockheed Martin may be a name more closely tied with aircraft than anything else, but the company plays a significant role in the nation’s space program. Lockheed and Raytheon have announced that they have successfully completed the third of five planned launch and early orbit exercises in a program to demonstrate that the GPS III satellite is ready for launch.
The satellite is the most powerful and accurate GPS unit in the world. Along with GPS III satellite, Lockheed and Raytheon will also be launching the US Air Force Operational Control System known as OCX. The company successfully completed Exercise 3 on August 1 marking a key milestone towards demonstrating that the OCX software meets mission requirements to further support launch of the nation’s first GPS III satellite.
Lockheed Martin is building that satellite and a pair of additional readiness exercises along with six new 24/7 launch rehearsals are planned before the first GPS III satellite is actually placed into orbit in 2015. Exercise 3 was a completed on August 1 and demonstrated space-ground communications and the first acquisition and transfer orbit sequences.
The demonstration also tested maneuver planning and execution, basic anomaly detection, and resolution capability. The GPS III satellite and Raytheon OCX are seen as critical elements of the US Air Force’s effort to modernize its GPS enterprise more affordably. The satellite is designed to support the needs of the military, commercial, and civilian users. The GPS III satellite promises three times the accuracy and up to eight times more powerful anti-jamming capabilities compared to existing GPS satellites. The actual launch date for the satellite depends on how the demonstration exercises progress.
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin