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New GPS III tests return positive results

by GPS4US 2013-07-11 17:14
The next generation of GPS may have found life recently as tests for new Global Positioning System satellites produced positive results for Lockheed Martin, United Press International reports.

The aerospace giant announced the successful tests of its GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST). The tests, according to Lockheed Martin, involved high-fidelity pathfinding events. The positive results clear the way for work on a US Air Force GPS program update to replace the aging US system. The GPS III system will have profoundly positive effects for both military and civilian use.

“"GPS III is a critically important program for the Air Force, affordably replacing aging GPS satellites in orbit, while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users," Lockheed Martin said, according to UPI.com

The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978, and the GPS satellite constellation is operated by the Air Force 50th Space Wing.

Lockheed Martin told UPI the GNST went through "a series of high-fidelity pathfinding events, which validate the process and facility for vehicle integration checkout, as well as signals interference testing, that the next-generation satellites (of GPS III will endure)”

During testing, the GNST endured thermal vacuum chamber trail blazing, a series of vehicle integration tests and demonstrated facility, mechanical and electrical ground equipment integration, according to UPI.

The GNST will be shipped to the Cape Canaveral US Air Force Station in Florida for further risk reduction activities.

Lockheed tells UPI that GPS III satellites will outperform the current system with three times better accuracy and will thwart global threats to GPS service. It has up to eight times the anti-jamming signal power.

The first GPS III satellite is scheduled to launch in 2014.

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