Lockheed Martin said in a statement last week that its navigation payload provider, ITT Corp., had "delivered a new demonstration payload for a modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR -- GPS IIR-M -- satellite to Lockheed Martin's facilities in Valley Forge, Pa. for integration on the spacecraft and final system-level testing in preparation for launch next year."
"This major milestone was achieved two months ahead of schedule and only nine months after the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $6-million contract to develop the demonstration payload which will temporarily transmit a third civil signal from a GPS IIR-M satellite. This event continues Lockheed Martin's unrivaled record of success in developing and evolving navigation satellites," the company said.
"The signal, located on the L5 frequency -- 1176.45MHz -- will comply with international radio frequency spectrum requirements. Future generations of GPS spacecraft will include an operational third civil signal to improve the accuracy and performance capabilities of the system. The spacecraft with the demonstration payload, known as SV 09, is one of the final three Block IIR-M satellites planned for launch in 2008," Lockheed Martin said.
"Early delivery of this payload reflects our team's commitment to successful and timely program execution," said Don DeGryse, Lockheed Martin's vice president of navigation systems. "We look forward to achieving mission success on this critical initiative, which will provide our customer with a much-needed on-orbit demonstration capability for this important new civil signal next year."
Lockheed Martin said its Space Systems unit in Valley Forge, Pa., was "the prime contractor for the GPS IIR program."