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USAF completes FMRT on GPS III, OCX

20th December 2017 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Factory mission readiness testing (FMRT) has been completed on the US Air Force's first GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01) and the Operational Control System (OCX).

The FMRT was completed in November, validating remote command and control interaction between GPS III and the OCX's Launch and Checkout System (LCS) through a simulated full launch and early orbit mission event sequence.

Command signals were sent from the latest OCX LCS software installed at Lockheed Martin's Launch and Check Out capability node in Denver to Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. From there, the commands were uplinked back to the GPS III SV01 satellite.

The air force has declared GPS III SV01 available for launch, which is expected in 2018. The successful FMRT was the final validation that GPS III SV01 is ready to be shipped to the launch pad.

GPS III will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest GPS satellites on-orbit today. GPS III's new L1C civil signal will also make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, such as Galileo.

OCX will enhance GPS command and control and mission management capabilities. It will control all legacy and new signals, provide protection against evolving cyber threats, and reduce operational and sustainment costs through efficient software architecture, automation and performance-based logistics.

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