Military Embedded Systems

Fourth GPS III satellite by Lockheed Martin on its way to orbit

News

November 09, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Associate Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Lockheed Martin image.

BETHESDA, Md. The fourth Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite is now headed to orbit under its own propulsion. GPS III Space Vehicle 04 (GPS III SV04) separated from its rocket and is now using onboard power to reach its operational orbit.

In the coming days, the company claims that GPS III SV04's onboard liquid apogee engine will continue to propel the satellite towards its operational orbit. Once it arrives, the engineers will send the satellite commands to deploy its solar arrays and antennas, and prepare GPS III SV04 for handover to Space Operations Command.

GPS III SV04 is the latest next-generation GPS III satellite Lockheed Martin designed and built to help the U.S. Space Force modernize today's GPS satellite constellation. GPS III satellites are designed to provide better accuracy, improved anti-jamming capabilities, and a new L1C civil signal, which is compatible with international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe's Galileo, to improve civilian user connectivity.

GPS III SV04 will also be the 23rd Military Code (M-Code) signal-enabled GPS space vehicle on orbit, aiming to continue the Space Force's plan to fully field a more secure GPS signal for military forces.

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