Home News GPS III ‘Magellan’ begins signal transmission

GPS III ‘Magellan’ begins signal transmission

GPS III Magellan mission launch. (Photo: Photo: breakingdefense.com)

Days after the first GPS III satellite Vespucci, the second GPS III satellite Magellan, has also started signal transmission. It was launched last year in August 22.The satellite was launched on a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Vespucci was earlier launched in December 2018. It began signal transmission in January 2020.

Magellan started signal transmission pseudorandom noise code (PRN) number 18 at 17:16:30 GPS Time on March 13. Transmission of navigation messages began at 19:00 GPST. The PRN 18 was used by the Block IIA satellite GPS-34 that was removed from the active GPS constellation in 2019. However, it continued with signal transmission till March 9, 2020.

A number of tracking stations of the International GNSS Service (IGS) are already tracking GPS-75. With the help of the data collected by, these stations, Switzerland’s Center for Orbit Determination in Europe (CODE), has been sharing a precise orbit and clock products for this satellite since March.

The comparison was also done with CODE precise orbit. Products showed initial broadcast ephemeris errors of nearly 100 meters (3D) and an orbit-related signal-in-space range error (SISRE) of nearly 13 meters. The SISRE (orbit component) of 24 centimeters was achieved within four days, which matches the performance of the other GPS constellation.