Harris matures navigation payload design for Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellites

MELBOURNE, Fla. Engineers at Harris Corp. completed the development of the Mission Data Unit (MDU), which is at the center of the navigation payload for Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellites 11 and beyond.

Harris’ GPS III SV11+ digital navigation payload will improve on performance for the U.S. Air Force by providing more powerful signals, plus flexibility to adapt to advances in GPS technology. The current Harris payload for GPS III space vehicles (SVs) 1-10 includes a greater than three times reduction in range error, up to eight times increase in anti-jamming power, added signals – including one compatible with other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) – and greater signal integrity.

“This design is fully mature – an Engineering Development Model, not a prototype – and is ready to be inserted into GPS III SV11+,” says Bill Gattle, president, Harris Space and Intelligence Systems.

The payload design also ensures atomic clock operations. It also will provide the clock signal for a new GPS III Search and Rescue (SAR) payload. The Harris payload for the first ten GPS III satellites already has been verified for OCX compatibility, and this will allow Harris to port the Harris SV11+ design, minimizing integration risks and associated costs.

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