Tweet
header image

GPS III Satellites

Providing The GPS III Network Communications Element

The GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and supports a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions - from air traffic control to navigation systems in cars, cell phones and wristwatches. GPS is increasing productivity in areas as diverse as farming, mining, construction, surveying, package delivery and supply chain management. The system is also enhancing public safety by reducing response times for ambulances, firefighters and other emergency services.

General Dynamics is under contract with prime contractor Lockheed Martin to provide the Network Communications Element (NCE), including the UHF Crosslink and Tracking, Telemetry and Command (TT&C) subsystems. General Dynamics' Network Communications Element components provide the communications functions for the GPS III satellites, including the ground-to-space command and control channel, the space-to-space inter-satellite channel and the command and telemetry communications channels within each satellite.

GPS III improves position, navigation and timing services and provides advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability. The first increment, in a planned three increments, GPS IIIA will deliver signals three times more accurate than current GPS spacecraft and provide three times more power for military users, while also enhancing the spacecraft's design life and adding a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems.

Compared to prior GPS vehicles, the Air Force's GPS III satellites will deliver three times better accuracy, provide up to eight times more powerful anti-jamming capabilities and include enhancements that extend spacecraft life 25 percent further. GPS III-series satellites also will carry a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, enhancing civilian user connectivity.