US: ITT Exelis has bagged a USD 2.2 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory for research in support of the current GPS programme.
ITT Exelis will research the development of a small satellite navigation payload, known as the GPS Navigation Satellite, or GPS NAVSAT, to augment this system.
The GPS NAVSAT seeks to provide affordable capabilities to aid end-users located in difficult to access environments, the company said.
“The development of smaller satellites — in terms of size, weight, power and cost — will yield greater affordability for our customers,” said Mark Pisani, vice president and general manager, precision instruments and positioning, navigation and timing systems, Exelis Geospatial Systems.
“A smaller satellite size will allow for improved launch vehicle selection flexibility,” he said.
The company will conduct an 18-month initial study to identify ways to increase affordability and sustainment of the GPS programme through payload weight reduction, size and power.
The GPS NAVSAT will operate in a similar fashion to the current GPS system, but it will also aid the current system’s end-users in signal-constrained environments, be it urban or mountainous terrain, the company said.
Source: Washington Tech