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13. February 2018, Veronika Sax - Miscellaneous

Building its own Navigation Satellite System by 2034, Korean will start ground testing the KPS in 2021. 
The System will comprise  seven navigation satellites with three of them geostationary above the Korean Peninsula.

Since Korea is currently relying on the US GPS system, which has suffered repeated local area jamming emanating from North Korea, they aim to have regional and independent positioning and navigation signals to prevent nationwide chaos.

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12. February 2018, Veronika Sax - Miscellaneous


"Red Flag": US Air Force is preparing for a military conflict in which the satellite navigation system is unavailable. GPS is operated by the US Department of Defense and currently has 31 satellites in orbit. Now, training missions must be carried out without the familiar system. The exercise, which runs until 16th of February, will also have an impact on the civilian population.

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26. June 2017, Veronika Sax - Miscellaneous


In a specialized cleanroom designed to streamline satellite production, Lockheed Martin is in full production building GPS III - the world's most powerful GPS satellite, according to the company. The company's second GPS III satellite is now assembled and preparing for environmental testing, and the third satellite is close behind, having just received its navigation payload.

In May, the U.S. Air Force's second GPS III satellite was fully assembled and entered into Space Vehicle (SV) single line flow when Lockheed Martin technicians successfully integrated its system module, propulsion core and antenna deck. GPS III SV02 smoothly came together through a series of carefully-orchestrated manufacturing maneuvers utilizing a 10-ton crane.

GPS III SV02 is part of the Air Force's next generation of GPS satellites, which have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest GPS satellites on-orbit today.

"Now fully-integrated, GPS III SV02 will begin environmental testing this summer to ensure the satellite is ready for the rigors of space," said Mark Stewart, vice president of Navigation Systems for Lockheed Martin. "This testing simulates harsh launch and space environments the satellite will endure, and further reduces any risk prior to it being available for launch in 2018."

A Factory Full of GPS III Satellites

Right behind GPS III SV02, eight more contracted GPS III satellites are moving through production flow at Lockheed Martin's nearly 40,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art GPS III Processing Facility near Denver.

GPS III SV03 recently completed initial power on of its bus, which contains the electronics that operate the satellite. The company received SV03's navigation payload from its supplier, Harris Corporation, in May. After further system testing, SV03 will be ready for full integration later this fall.

GPS III SV04's major electronics are being populated as it prepares for its own initial power on. This satellite's navigation payload is expected to arrive and be integrated into its space vehicle before the end of the year.

Components of the next six satellites, GPS III SV05-10, are arriving at Lockheed Martin daily from more than 250 suppliers in 29 states. To date, more than 70 percent of parts and materials for SV05-08 have been received. The company was put under production contract for SV09-10 in late 2016.

All of these satellites are now following the Air Force's first GPS III satellite, GPS III SV01, through a proven assembly, integration and test flow. SV01 completed its final Factory Functional Qualification Testing and was placed into storage in February 2017 ahead of its expected 2018 launch.

Investing in the Future of GPS III

With multiple satellites now in production, Lockheed Martin engineers are building GPS III smarter and faster. Key to their success is the company's GPS III Processing Facility, a cleanroom manufacturing center designed in a virtual-reality environment to maximize production efficiency. Lockheed Martin invested $128 million in the new center, which opened in 2011.

The company's unique satellite design includes a flexible, modular architecture that allows for the easy insertion of new technology as it becomes available in the future or if the Air Force's mission needs change. Satellites based off this design also will already be compatible with both the Air Force's next generation Operational Control System (OCX) and the existing GPS constellation.

"From day one, GPS III has been a team effort and our successes would not have been possible without a strong Air Force partnership," Stewart said. "GPS III will ensure the U.S. maintains the gold standard for positioning, navigation and timing. We look forward to bringing GPS III's new capabilities to our warfighters and beginning to launch these satellites in 2018."

The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

Source:  GPS World


Photo: Lockheed Martin


05. December 2016, Veronika Sax - Miscellaneous

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) has announced the introduction of a leap second to occur at the end of December 2016.

Coordinated universal time (UTC) will sequence as follows:

  1. 31 Dec 2016 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds
  2. 31 Dec 2016 23 hours 59 minutes 60 seconds
  3. 01 Jan 2017 00 hours 00 minutes 00 seconds

Users are advised that the UTC data in the Galileo navigation message will change in accordance with OS SIS ICD (Section 5.1.7)

Before the leap second:

GST-UTC is 17 (GST is ahead of UTC by 17 seconds)

After the leap second:

GST-UTC will be 18 (GST will be ahead of UTC by 18 seconds)

Text source Earth Orientation Center of IERS, Observatoire de Paris, France



15. June 2016, Veronika Sax - Miscellaneous


The Chinese Beidou system's 23rd satellite was launched into orbit Sunday aboard a Long March 3C rocket. The Long March 3C rocket lifted off at 1530 GMT (11:30 a.m. EDT) from the Xichang launch base in southwestern China's Sichuan province, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

This is the third new satellite to join the fleet this year. The 21st satellite was launched in February, and the 22nd in March. The satellite was deployed into an elliptical orbit more than 22,000 miles (35,700 kilometers) above Earth. It will power its way into a circular geosynchronous orbit over the equator in the coming weeks.

Text source GPS World




20. January 2016, Veronika Sax - Miscellaneous

The fifth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) constellation lifted off on time Jan. 20 from Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island, on India's east coast.

As in the previous four launches of IRNSS satellites, the navigation satellite rode aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This is the 33rd launch for the PSLV.

After the PSLV-C31 lift-off at 0401 GMT Wednesday (11:01 p.m. EST Tuesday) with the ignition of the first stage, the subsequent important flight events - strap-on ignitions and separations, first stage separation, second stage ignition, heat-shield separation, second stage separation, third stage ignition and separation, fourth stage ignition and satellite injection - all took place as planned.

We are pleased to announce that the signal quality of the IRNSS Navigation Payload has been tested successfully by using IFEN´s high performance IRNSS Payload Coherence Test Receiver (PCTR).