Defense Contractor Lockheed Martin, which is developing the US Air Force’s next generation Global Position System, has powered on the bus and network communications equipment payload of the second GPS III Satellite.
According to the press release, the powering on of the GPS III, which happened on Dec. 19, 2013 at Lockheed’s Denver-area GPS III Processing Facility, is a “major production milestone which demonstrates the satellite’s mechanical integration, validates its interfaces, and leads the way for electrical and integrated hardware-software testing.”
“The GPS III SV-02 bus power on is a significant milestone, positioning SV-02 in line with the Air Force’s first GPS III space vehicle, SV-01, in our GPF, where both satellites are progressing through sequential integration and test work stations specifically designed for efficient and affordable satellite production,” explained Mark Stewart, vice president for Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area.
Lockheed is under contract for the production of six GPS III satellites. The first four were funded under a separate contract and the last two were fully funded by an exercised Air Force option on Dec. 13. Lockheed Martin had previously received advanced procurement funding for long-lead components for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth satellites.
The first GPS III satellite, which was powered on in Feb. 28, 2013, is now in the integration stage before being delivered to the Air Force.