US: Exelis has completed and tested six transmitter assemblies, which are integral payload components for the first in a series of the next generation of GPS III navigation satellites. The navigation payload transmitters carry high-powered GPS signals from space to Earth, benefitting military, commercial and civilian users.
To ensure the space vehicle navigation payload meets performance requirements over the mission life, Exelis subjected the transmitter assemblies to a rigorous test programme which includes random vibration, pyroshock and thermal vacuum testing which replicates space-like conditions that envelope the launch vehicle, deployment and on-orbit environments.
GPS III is a critically important programme for the US Air Force, affordably replacing the aging constellation of GPS satellites currently in orbit. Compared to prior GPS vehicles, GPS III satellites is expected to deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times more powerful anti-jamming capabilities and include enhancements that extend spacecraft life 25 per cent further. GPS III-series satellites will also carry a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, enhancing civilian user connectivity.