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GPS IIIB satellite passes system design review

Newtown, US: Lockheed Martin Space Systems completed system design review (SDR) for the GPS IIIB satellite increment under the US Air Force’s next generation GPS III programme. According to the company’s press statement, GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability for users around the globe. 
Lockheed Martin is under contract to produce the first two of a planned eight GPS IIIA satellites, with first launch projected for 2014. The contract, which features a “back to basics” acquisition approach, includes a Capability Insertion Program (CIP) designed to mature technologies and perform rigorous systems engineering for future GPS III increments. 
An important milestone that precedes the Preliminary Design Review, the GPS IIIB SDR, established requirements for the capability insertion planned for the follow-on GPS IIIB satellites and validated the satellite design will meet the ever increasing demand of more than one billion GPS users worldwide. 
GPS IIIA will deliver signals three times more accurate than current GPS spacecraft and provide three times more power for military users, while also enhancing the spacecraft’s design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems. GPS IIIB will provide higher power modernised signals, a fully digital navigation payload capable of generating new navigation signals after launch and a Distress Alerting Satellite System payload that relays distress signals from emergency beacons back to search and rescue operations. 
Source: Lockheed Martin