The U.S. Air Force has announced that the GPS III satellite is gearing for a 2014 launch.
GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability.
The project is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, who recently started the initial power for the replica GPS III in order to work out any kinks. The prototype known as GPS III Non Flight Satellite Testbred will be continually tested for software, hardware and interface issues that may arise.
“Turning initial power on for the GNST is a major milestone for the GPS III team demonstrating we are well on track to deliver the first satellite for launch in 2014,” said Lt. Col. Don Frew, the US Air Force’s GPS III program.
The prototype spacecraft will be shipped to Lockheed’s GPS III Processing Facility in Denver late this year to demonstrate assembly, integration and test procedures.