Satellite Declared Operational for Military and Civil Users Worldwide
DENVER, Jan. 16 -- The modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, launched from Cape Canaveral on Dec. 20, 2007, has been declared fully operational for military and civilian navigation users around the globe, following a record-setting on-orbit deployment by a joint U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) team.
Lockheed Martin's operations team assisted Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) and its Reserve associate unit 19 SOPS based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. with the launch and early orbit operations. The team conducted the on-orbit deployment and checkout of all spacecraft systems in just over three days. Upon completion of navigation payload initialization, the satellite was declared operational on Jan. 2 for both civil and military users.
Designated GPS IIR-18M, the satellite is the fifth in a series of eight Block IIR-M spacecraft that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems has modernized for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The Block IIR-M series includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe.
"After launch, our aim was to achieve a new level of performance for our Air Force customer by allowing another sophisticated GPS IIR-M satellite to begin service as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Navigation Systems. "This record-setting on-orbit achievement -- as well as the overall success of the GPS IIR-M program -- is a great testament to the close collaboration and partnership between the Lockheed Martin and Air Force team."
Representing the second successful GPS IIR-M mission in just two months, the satellite joins four IIR-M satellites and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the current 30-spacecraft constellation.
Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.
The Global Positioning System enables properly equipped users to determine precise time and velocity and worldwide latitude, longitude and altitude to within a few meters. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.
Lockheed Martin is also leading a team which includes ITT and General Dynamics in the competition to build the U.S. Air Force's next-generation Global Positioning System, GPS Block III. The next-generation program will improve position, navigation, and timing services for the warfighter and civil users worldwide and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding improved system security, accuracy and reliability.
A multi-billion dollar development contract is scheduled to be awarded by the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. in early 2008.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of $39.6 billion.
Media Contact: Steve Tatum, 408-742-7531; e-mail, [email protected]
Source: Lockheed Martin
Web site: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/