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Friday, September 13, 2013

GPS III Satellite Control Software Passes Test

As reported by the Denver Business JournalA new software system for the next generation of global positioning satellites has passed a key test of its launch and early orbit operations, the two Denver-area companies building the system for the U.S. Air Force reported Thursday.

The operations and control software for the GPS III satellites, created and run by Raytheon Co.’s Information and Intelligence Systems (IIS) division in Aurora, recently passed the third of five tests planned ahead of the 2015 launch of the first of the new, GPS III satellites, which Lockheed Martin Space Systems is building in Jefferson County.
Raytheon is creating the ground control and satellite operations software for the GPS III system at its Aurora offices.Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.(LMSS) built a GPS III production facility at its Waterton Canyon campus that opened in 2011 for the first six GPS III satellites.
The companies combined have secured more than $2 billion worth of contracts for the work.
The Raytheon OCX software met “mission requirements and is on track to support the launch of the first GPS III satellite,” the company said. Two more readiness exercises and a half-dozen launch rehearsals will be conducted before the first GPS III satellite is launched.
The GPS III system is being designed to have a signal far more powerful than today’s GPS, making it more accurate and requiring much more powerful signal-jamming equipment to interfere with it.
In 2012, U.S. Air Force Gen. William Shelton, commander of the U.S. Space Command, expressed concern about Raytheon’s OCX software not being ready for the first launch, which then was expected to take place as early as 2014.