Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GPS Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, launched

A Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket.

Designated GPS IIR-21(M), the satellite is the final in a line of eight GPS IIR-M spacecraft that the Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems team in Newtown, modernised for Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

The Block IIR-M series includes features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe – specifically a modernised antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities, and a second civil signal, providing users with an open access signal on a different frequency.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Newtown, Pa., is the prime contractor for the GPS IIR program. The company designed and built 21 IIR spacecraft. ITT, Clifton, N.J. supplied all 21 navigation payloads for both the IIR and IIR-M spacecraft.


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