L3Harris Technologies is working on an experimental satellite that could help deliver advanced position, navigation and timing capabilities to warfighters under an $84M contract with the U.S. Air Force, C4ISRNET reported Tuesday.
The Navigation Technology Satellite-3 is expected to launch by 2022 and operate in geostationary orbit as a software-defined satellite. NTS is an Air Force Research Laboratory program designed to bring experimental satellites to orbit to test future GPS technology.
“But what’s unique about NTS 3 is it’s not just a testbed but it actually could be an augmentation for the mainline GPS constellation,” said Bill Gattle, CEO of L3Harris’ space systems. “It will have an immediate impact to the warfighter, which is unusual. And that’s why it’s called a Vanguard program.”
NTS-3 has already completed preliminary design review and requirements assessment.