A Lockheed Martin-led team has completed successful functional integration tests of the spacecraft bus and network communications equipment on the first satellite of the next-generation Global Positioning System, known as GPS III.
The recent testing of GPS III space vehicle 1 (SV 1) bus — the portion of the space vehicle that carries mission payloads and hosts them in — assured that all bus subsystems are functioning normally and ready for final integration with the satellite’s navigation payload. Systems tested included: guidance, navigation and control; command and data handling; on-board computer and flight software; environmental controls; and electrical power regulation. The SV1 satellite’s network communication equipment subsystem that interfaces with the ground control segment and distributes data throughout the space vehicle also passed all tests as expected.
This milestone follows February’s successful initial power-on of SV1, which demonstrated the electrical-mechanical integration, validated the satellite’s interfaces and led the way for functional and hardware-software integration testing.
GPS III is a critically important program for the Air Force, affordably replacing aging GPS satellites in orbit, while improving capability to meet the evolving demands of military, commercial and civilian users. GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy and, in order to outpace growing global threats that could disrupt GPS service, up to eight times improved anti-jamming signal power for additional resiliency.