Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last GPS IIR-M Satellite set for Launch

The last of the 8 modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellites built by GPS IIR Satellite Lockheed Martin is set to launch August 17 from Cape Canaveral, Florida the firm announced. The first of the Block IIR satellites was launched in 1997. Lockheed Martin along with ITT originally built 21 IIR satellites. Later 8 of the IIR vehicles were modernized and designated GPS IIR-M.

The IIR-M GPS satellites produces a stronger signal, broadcasts 2 additional military signals, features enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military. The satellites also broadcast a second civilian signal on a different frequency.

Lockheed Martin is leading a team developing the next generation of GPS satellites, designated GPS III. This program is designed to improve position, navigation and timing services for both military and civil users worldwide. GPS III is currently in the Critical Design Review phase of the program, with launch of the first GPS IIIA satellite scheduled for 2014.


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