Harris Corp. delivers navigation payload for third GPS III satellite

MELBOURNE, Fla. Harris Corporation has delivered the third of 10 planned advanced navigation payloads to Lockheed Martin for inclusion on the U.S. Air Force GPS III Space Vehicle 3 (GPS III SV03) satellite later this year.

The advanced navigation payloads feature a mission data unit (MDU) -- having a 70 percent digital design -- that links atomic clocks, radiation-hardened computers, and powerful transmitters, which Harris says enables signals three times more accurate than those on current GPS satellites. The new payloads also boost the satellite's signal power, increase jamming resistance by eight times, and work to extend the satellite’s lifespan.

The project is ongoing: “We are now in full production and on target to deliver the fourth GPS III navigation payload to Lockheed Martin this fall,” said Bill Gattle, president, Harris Space and Intelligence Systems. “Our payloads help U.S. and allied soldiers complete their missions, enable billions of dollars in commerce, and benefit the everyday lives of millions of people around the world.”

The first navigation payload is integrated aboard GPS III SV01, which has now completed testing protocols and is in storage awaiting its expected launch during 2018; Harris’s second GPS III navigation payload was integrated into GPS III SV02 in May.

Harris navigation payloads are already integrated in the second GPS III space vehicle, now in environmental testing, and the first GPS III satellite (pictured here), expected to launch in 2018. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.)