The U.S. Air Force’s next generation of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, GPS III, incorporates the new L1C civil signal, making it the first GPS satellite to work interchangeably with other global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs). The satellites will reportedly deliver three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities than the satellites currently being launched. Built by Lockheed Martin, the first GPS III space vehicle is now ready for testing in simulated harsh space environments.
In a systems integration event, several major, fully functional satellite components were brought together. The Lockheed engineers and technicians successfully lowered the system module of the GPS III satellite into place over the propulsion core, integrating the two into one space vehicle. The system module included the navigation payload, which performs the primary positioning, navigation, and timing mission. The functional bus contained the electronics that manage all satellite operation, and the propulsion core enables maneuvering in orbit.