Lockheed Martin Ships First Seven GPS III Antenna Assemblies

Lockheed Martin Corp has announced their Newtown, PA plant shipped the first seven antenna assemblies for the GPS III satellites. These antenna assemblies are now on their way to the company’s GPS III Processing Facility just outside of Denver, CO. The next step: installing the antennas to the first GPS III satellite, SV 01, scheduled to head to the Air Force in 2014, at which point it will be launched into orbit. These antennas will allow the satellite to send and receive data crucial to the proper function of military and civilian GPS navigation devices. They offer a UHF crosslinkRead More

Satellite Testing to Enhance GPS Performance

This summer the US Air Force Space Command will take another step in the Air Force GPS modernization program. The program consists of a series of tests. The tests will focus mainly on civilian navigation message (CNAV) capabilities; the CNAV increases the performance and function of the GPS. The US Air Force will use satellites developed by Lockheed Martin; the company is quite prepared to assist the US Air Force modernization program of GPS technology. Lockheed has had satellites in orbit since 1997 and has continued to update and modernize those satellites. The GPS functions using navigation messages emitted byRead More

GPS Industry Backs Enhancement of GPS Constellation for Civilian Use

We’ve covered the GPS III program extensively here at RMT, and explained the reasoning behind it as well. In a nutshell, the program was started to upgrade aging GPS satellites as well as improve the overall experience of using a GPS device for a variety of users. Obviously, the main purpose is to help the military and government more accurately obtain location data, but there is another group who serve to benefit from the upgrades: civilians.   The GPS Innovation Alliance, in a letter to commander of the US Air Force Space Command Gen. William L. Shelton, voiced their supportRead More

Delta PDR for GPS III Deemed A Success by Lockheed Martin

Delta Preliminary Design Review (dPDR) was successfully completed for the next group of GPS III satellites, according to Lockheed Martin. The GPS satellites are part of the US Air Force’s GPS III program to replace aging satellites and help those who rely on the GPS system more effectively.   The GPS III satellites feature eight times the anti-jamming signal power and are three times more accurate than our current system. The design life of the satellites is also improved, and a new civil signal will be added which works alongside international GNSS.   Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract toRead More

GPS Technology Used to Locate (Secret) Nuclear Test Sites

North Korea, and other countries developing similar programs, will no longer be able to test nuclear devices below the earth’s surface without being discovered, thanks to GPS technology. The same method involving the technology has also been used in the past to detect tsunamis, as well as major seismic and volcanic activity. Because GPS satellites can record “total electron content” within the ionosphere at any given time and vicinity, software is being developed to analyze the data measuring  the release of electrons into the ionosphere and to reveal what locations beneath the earth’s surface have experienced the effects of nuclearRead More

Asteroid Flyby: Too Close For Comfort

Satellite

Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed by Earth on February 15, measuring 65 x 130 feet in size, roughly as big as an Olympic sized swimming pool. There was a lot of talk about how close this asteroid would come to Earth, especially among the doomsday crowd. Scientists assured people it would have no effect whatsoever, so people should not worry. Something it could have affected: GPS satellites.   The asteroid missed hitting Earth by 17,000 miles, which happens to be closer than the GPS satellites sit in orbit, about 500 miles further out in space. The asteroid’s passing was invisible toRead More

Software for GPS III Satellites: Ready for Takeoff

GPS Staten Island

It was a big moment for Lockheed Martin earlier last month, when they announced certain software for the US Air Force’s GPS III satellites has been completed. After the Software Item Qualification Testing was conducted for this specific software, which controls the satellite while it is in orbit and monitors the satellite’s subsystems, the green light was given to test it out on the first GPS III satellite.   “Completion of this flight software milestone demonstrates our continued positive program momentum and is another step forward in reducing risk up front to facilitate long-term affordability,” said USAF’s GPS III programRead More

Surrey Satellite Chosen By AFRL to Analyze Small Satellite Approach to GPS

Surrey Satellite Technology USA LLC (SST-US) has been chosen by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to look into how using small satellites in the GPS constellation would affect cost and performance.   SST-US was contracted by AFRL to investigate whether using small satellites would affect the performance  of the GPS system in areas such as coverage, accuracy, and robustness, all while saving money on the smaller technology. SST-US plans to test whether or not the smaller satellite constellations will make the overall performance of the system better and more resilient, while at the same time discovering ways to bringRead More

GPS 2F-3 Satellite Launched Into Orbit Successfully

On October 4, the Air Force’s first GPS 2F-3 navigation satellite went up in a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral, housed in the rocket’s nose cone built to protect it when leaving the atmosphere. This satellite is replacing an old satellite initially deployed during the summer of 1993.   Col. Bernie Gruber, the director of the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate said, “As the GPS 2Fs become operational, they are ensuring that the Air Force can meet the current and future needs of both military and civilian users.” It is predicted theRead More

Yelp Weighs in on GPS vs. Wi-Fi Positioning

Satellite

When it comes to accurate positioning when on your smartphone, which is better: Wi-Fi positioning, using wireless access points to determine position, or GPS, relying on the GPS satellites to calculate position? Yelp recently gave their two cents on the subject, and then some, in a report recently released. Who better than the company with millions upon millions of check-in location data to sift through? The verdict: GPS wins.   Never heard of Yelp? It’s an app you can use on either iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry platform to see which services and businesses are frequented by those in your community,Read More