The Power of Navigation

Lockheed Martin turned on the power to the Air Force’s next-generation Global Positioning System satellite ground test bed, checking off another important milestone on the way to the scheduled 2014 launch of the first GPS Block III satellite. The GPS III Non Flight Satellite Testbed is a full-sized prototype that “provides space vehicle design-level validation; early verification of ground, support, and test equipment; and early confirmation and rehearsal of transportation operations,” states a company release. “Our joint government and industry team is committed to delivering GPS III on schedule to sustain and modernize the GPS constellation for users worldwide,” said Lt. Col. Don Frew, USAF’s GPS III program manager, in the release. Lockheed’s GPS III Program Director Keoki Jackson said the team is “committed to delivering GPS III spacecraft affordably and efficiently.” Block III satellites will offer improved positioning, navigation, and timing services, as well as more jam-resistant signals.