Harris Corp has completed development of the company’s fully digital Mission Data Unit (MDU) for enhanced GPS performance. The MDU is the heart of the navigation payload for the GPS III satellites 11 and beyond being developed and launched by Lockheed Martin.
The MDU promises a greater than three times reduction in range error, along with as much as an eight times increase in anti-jamming capabilities. It is fully compatible with other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The MDU will improve navigational performance for the U.S. Air Force by providing more powerful signals, along with built-in flexibility to adapt to advances in GPS technology and changes in mission needs.
Based on an atomic clock reference signal, the payload design provides the reliable signals that soldiers and civilians alike depend upon. “This design is fully mature—an Engineering Development Model, not a prototype—and is ready to be inserted into GPS III SV11+,” said Bill Gattle, president of Harris Space and Intelligence Systems. “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 all-digital payload will also provide the clock signal for a new GPS III Search and Rescue (SAR) payload.