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Harris corporation completes the development of it digital navigation payload for GPS III satellites

Harris corporation completes digital navigation payload. Image Courtesy: Lockheed Martin

US: Harris Corporation has completed the development of its fully digital Mission Data Unit (MDU), which plays a crucial role in navigation payload for Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellites 11 and beyond.

The current Harris payload for GPS III space vehicles (SVs) 1-10 includes more than three times reduction in range error, up to eight times increase in anti-jamming power, added signals, and higher signal integrity. Harris’ GPS III SV11+ fully digital navigation payload will further improve the performance for the U.S. Air Force by providing more powerful signals, plus the built-in flexibility to adapt to advances in GPS technology, as well as future changes in mission needs.

Bill Gattle, President Harris Space and Intelligence Systems, said “This design is fully mature – an Engineering Development Model, not a prototype – and is ready to be inserted into GPS III SV11+,” “The payload has the flexibility to serve the warfighter over the entire mission life and can be upgraded incrementally over its mission life due to built-in adaptability.”

The payload design also ensures flawless atomic clock operations, providing the reliable GPS signal that millions of people – including U.S. soldiers –depend on a daily basis. It also will provide the clock signal for a new GPS III Search and Rescue (SAR) payload.

Other than flexibility and reliability, the new Harris SV11+ navigation payload offers a smooth transition to the Air Force’s GPS OCX ground control segment. The Harris payload for the first ten GPS III satellites already has been verified for OCX compatibility, and this will allow Harris to seamlessly port the Harris SV11+ design while minimizing integration risks and associated costs.