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M-Code advances for GPS satellites

10th August 2020 - 08:51 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The fourth Lockheed Martin-built GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV04) has been shipped to Cape Canaveral in preparation for a September 2020 launch, US Space Force announced on 6 August.

Once on-orbit, GPS III SV04 will be the 23rd satellite in the 31-satellite GPS constellation to include the GPS Military Code (M-Code) encrypted signal that enhances anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities. 

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin has installed an M-Code Early Use (MCEU) upgrade to the  Operational Control Segment (OCS), which is the in-service GPS ground control system. MCEU allows the OCS to task, upload and monitor M-Code within the GPS constellation, as well as support testing and fielding of modernised user equipment, as a gap-filler for M-Code operations until the next-generation control system is delivered. 

MCEU is expected to reach operational acceptance in November 2020. 

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