Satellite Declared Operational for Military and Civil Users
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
USAF/Lockheed Martin team. Lockheed Martin's operations team
assisted Air Force Space Command's 2ndSpace 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.