Blogarchiv
Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Start von SpaceX Falcon 9 mit GPS III Space Vehicle No. 1 “Vespucci”

24.08.2018

GPS III Space Vehicle No. 1 “Vespucci” Arrives in Florida, Prepares for December Launch

180820-f-zz999-101

A government and contractor team loads the first GPS III satellite for transport aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Aug. 20 at Buckley AFB, Colorado to begin processing for a December launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Erin Gulden)

-

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif --  

The U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Directorate achieved a major program milestone Aug. 21, successfully delivering the first GPS III satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to begin launch processing.

 

“The shipment of the first GPS III satellite to the launch processing facility is a hallmark achievement for the program,” said Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, SMC commander and Air Force program executive officer for Space. “The modernization of GPS has been an outstanding collaborative effort and this brings us another step closer to launch.”            

 

The satellite, dubbed “Vespucci” in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer for whom the Americas were named, was transported in a custom container from the Lockheed Martin factory facility in Waterton, Colorado to the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, by a C-17 Globemaster III originating from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.  The transportation crew consisted of both contractor and government personnel who oversaw the entire operation to ensure that the conditions of the transport environment would not damage any of the satellite’s sensitive components.

The delivery of Satellite Vehicle 01 (SV01) starts the clock for final testing and checkout of the space vehicle prior to launch. The satellite will be processed at the Astrotech Space Operations Florida facility. A government and contractor team will ensure the integrity of the satellite after shipment by performing a Mission Readiness Test to verify the health and safety of the vehicle, as well as communication compatibility with the ground operations center. The team will then prepare for propellant loading and encapsulate the satellite in its protective fairing. At the completion of these activities, the satellite will be headed for a first of its kind horizontal integration with the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

 

“While the launch of the last GPS IIF satellite marked the end of an era, the upcoming GPS III launch will be the start of a brand new one,” said Col. Steven Whitney, director of the GPS Directorate. “It is the first of our new GPS III satellites, first to integrate with a SpaceX rocket, first to interact with elements of GPS’ Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 0, and first to have spacecraft acquisition and on-orbit checkout from Lockheed Martin facilities. We are excited to be at this point and we are ready for the upcoming launch of Vespucci.”

 

The modernized GPS III SV01 is slated to launch in December. It will augment the current constellation of 31 operational GPS satellites. GPS delivers the gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting vital U.S. and allied operations worldwide, and underpins critical financial, transportation, and agricultural infrastructure that billions of users have come to depend on daily.

Quelle: USAF

---

Update: 30.08.2018

.

First GPS III satellite shipped to Cape Canaveral for launch

gps-iii-sv01-transport-pp

The first GPS III satellite has been delivered to Florida for launch in December on a SpaceX rocket.

On Aug. 20, Lockheed Martin shipped GPS III SV01 to Cape Canaveral. GPS III SV01 is the first of 10 new GPS III satellites being built under U.S. Air Force contract and in full production at Lockheed Martin.

Designed and built at Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility near Denver, the satellite was transported in a custom container from the Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado to the cape on a massive Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft originating from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. On Aug. 21, it arrived at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida.

usaf-gpsiii-transport-w

The first GPS III satellite is loaded aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 at Buckley AFB, Colorado, to begin processing for a December launch aboard a SpaceX rocket from Cape Canaveral. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Lt. Col. Erin Gulden)

-

Start the Clock. The delivery of Satellite Vehicle 01 (SV01) starts the clock for final testing and checkout of the space vehicle prior to launch. The satellite will be processed at the Astrotech Space Operations Florida facility.

A government and contractor team will ensure the integrity of the satellite after shipment by performing a Mission Readiness Test to verify the health and safety of the vehicle, as well as communication compatibility with the ground operations center.

The team will then prepare for propellant loading and encapsulate the satellite in its protective fairing. At the completion of these activities, the satellite will be headed for a first-of-its-kind horizontal integration with the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

GPS III improvements. GPS III will be the most powerful and resilient GPS satellite ever put on orbit. Developed with an entirely new design, for U.S. and allied forces it will have three times greater accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities over the previous GPS II satellite design block, which makes up today’s GPS constellation.

GPS III also will be the first GPS satellite to broadcast the new L1C civil signal. Shared by other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo, the L1C signal will improve future connectivity worldwide for commercial and civilian users.

“The shipment of the first GPS III satellite to the launch processing facility is a hallmark achievement for the program,” said Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) commander and program executive officer for Space. “The modernization of GPS has been an outstanding collaborative effort and this brings us another step closer to launch.”

Vespucci. The satellite is dubbed “Vespucci” in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer for whom the Americas were named.

The transportation crew consisted of both contractor and government personnel who oversaw the entire operation to ensure that the conditions of the transport environment would not damage any of the satellite’s sensitive components, the Air Force said.

“While the launch of the last GPS IIF satellite marked the end of an era, the upcoming GPS III launch will be the start of a brand new one,” said Col. Steven Whitney, director of the GPS Directorate. “It is the first of our new GPS III satellites, first to integrate with a SpaceX rocket, first to interact with elements of GPS’ Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 0, and first to have spacecraft acquisition and on-orbit checkout from Lockheed Martin facilities. We are excited to be at this point and we are ready for the upcoming launch of Vespucci.”

December Launch. The modernized GPS III SV01 is slated to launch in December. It will augment the current constellation of 31 operational GPS satellites. GPS delivers the gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting vital U.S. and allied operations worldwide, and underpins critical financial, transportation and agricultural infrastructure that billions of users have come to depend on daily.

“Once on orbit, the modern technology of this first GPS III space vehicle will begin playing a major role in the Air Force’s plan to modernize the GPS satellite constellation,” said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for navigation systems. “We are excited to start bringing GPS III’s new capabilities to the world and proud to continue to serve as a valued partner for the Air Force’s positioning, navigation and timing mission systems.”

Quelle: GPS World

---

Update: 5.09.2018

.

SpaceX’s second dedicated USAF mission targets Dec. 2018 for GPS satellite launch

f9-b1048-recovery-details-pauline-acalin-1c

One of a number of 2018 SpaceX missions pushed into this year’s fourth quarter, SpaceX’s second-ever dedicated US Air Force payload is tracking towards a tentative mid-December launch, hopefully kicking off the deployment of the first ten third-generation GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites.

 

Set to launch the first and second GPS satellites on upgraded Falcon 9 Block 5 rockets, SpaceX and the USAF could potentially decide to fly one or several of the company’s contracted GPS missions on flight-proven boosters.

Designed and built by Lockheed Martin, each of the first group of a dozen satellites will weigh approximately 3900 kg (8900 lb) and will be placed in a circular orbit 20,000 km (12,500 mi) above Earth’s surface, resulting in one completed orbit every 12 hours. Both as a result of each satellite’s significant mass and orbit requirement and the desire to spread risk over multiple launches, the first eight GPS Block IIIA spacecraft will ride into space on their own dedicated launch vehicles – five aboard Falcon 9, one on a ULA Delta IV, and the rest yet to be determined.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 was certified to launch national security-sensitive USAF payloads in May 2015 after spending years fighting for the reintroduction of competition into the Department of Defense’s rocket launch procurement apparatus, killed back in the mid-2000s when Lockheed Martin and Boeing merged their space subsidiaries into the United Launch Alliance despite protests from NASA and some in the DoD.

That launch is now aiming for December 15th, 2018, although such a specific date nearly three and a half months out should be treating as purely for planning purposes. Originally planned to launch on a ULA Delta IV rocket, the USAF decided (for unknown reasons) to switch the order of launch, making SpaceX the launch provider for the first and second spacecraft, with ULA following up on the third launch. In March 2018, SpaceX was additionally awarded one more GPS IIIA launch with the option for two more, at a total contract cost of roughly $290 million or ~$97 million apiece. Of the remaining four satellites to be launched after Space Vehicle 06 (SV06) reaches orbit, contracts have yet to be competed, although that process is likely to begin within a year or so.

Barring any unforeseen developments or anomalies, SpaceX’s December launch of GPS IIIA SV01 ought to kick off a series of Falcon 9 GPS missions every 4-6 months between now and 2021 or 2022. After SV08 is launched sometime in those final years, the US Air Force will open competition slightly further, allowing launch providers SpaceX, ULA, and perhaps even Blue Origin to offer multi-satellite launches on their more powerful rocket offerings, including Falcon Heavy, heavier Atlas 5 variants, and New Glenn.

Beginning in March 2019, largely symbolic but still revolutionary language to be included in 2019’s defense procurement authorization may explicitly require the USAF to explain before Congress – in the event that a launch contract does not allow a reusable rocket to compete – why an expendable launch vehicle was privileged. Currently NET March 2019 as well, SpaceX’s third dedicated USAF launch – STP-2 on Falcon Heavy – is being set up primarily to help the USAF certify SpaceX’s newest heavy-lift rocket for national security launches.

Quelle: TESLARATI 
---
Update: 12.09.2018
.

As GPS 3 launch nears, Air Force keeps watchful eye on ground controls

gps31-2a32d61044-k-879x485

A GPS 3 satellite is tested at a Lockheed Martin facility. Credit: Lockheed Martin

.

The GPS control segment is a global network of ground facilities that track the satellites, monitor their transmissions, perform analyses, and send commands and data to the constellation.

WASHINGTON – The scheduled December launch of the first GPS 3 satellite has been described by the U.S. Air Force as the “start of a new era.” It’s an entirely new satellite design, and the first GPS to go to space aboard a SpaceX rocket. It’s also a test for how the Air Force manages the transition to a new ground control system that has been plagued by delays and will not be ready until 2021.

The Air Force decided to stick with the launch schedule and get satellites in orbit while work continues on the development of the GPS 3 next-generation operational control system, known as OCX. To fill the gap, satellite manufacturer Lockheed Martin is upgrading the legacy control systems so the Air Force can fly and test the new satellites.

Col. Steven Whitney, director of the Air Force GPS Directorate, said the first GPS 3 will interact with “elements” of OCX Block 0 but the satellite will be operated with the existing GPS control segment that is being upgraded by Lockheed Martin.  Raytheon is the primary contractor for OCX. The GPS 3 spacecraft acquisition and on-orbit checkout will be done from Lockheed Martin facilities.

In anticipation of a late delivery of OCX, the Air Force in 2016 put Lockheed Martin under contract to develop a “contingency” upgrade for the GPS operational control segment and M-Code early use. The M-Code is the more powerful GPS 3 signal for military users that is more secure against jamming or spoofing. Lockheed said the upgraded ground system will be ready by May 2019 and the M-Code early use software by 2020.

As many as seven GPS 3 satellites could be in orbit before the development of OCX is completed. The disparity between the launch and the ground control equipment schedules was flagged by congressional auditors as a “risk factor” in the program. The Air Force and Raytheon renegotiated the schedule for OCX Block 1 in April 2017 and the target completion date is June 2021. Block O, the launch and checkout system, was delivered in September 2017.

A lot is riding on OCX, estimated to cost $6 billion. In the Pentagon’s $1.4 billion budget request for the GPS program in 2019, more than $500 million is for OCX.

As each new GPS 3 satellite is launched into orbit, it will undergo tests before the Air Force decides if it can be integrated into the existing constellation. The upgraded legacy ground control system will support GPS 3, as well as the GPS 2R, 2R-M and 2F satellites. GPS 3s would augment the current operational constellation of 31 GPS satellites.

Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 5.09.56 PM

The GPS control segment is a global network of ground facilities that track the satellites, monitor their transmissions, perform analyses, and send commands and data to the constellation.

The next-generation OCX was designed first and foremost to improve the cybersecurity of the ground segment. The system will have the highest cybersecurity protection of any military space system, Raytheon Vice President and OCX Program Manager Bill Sullivan told SpaceNews. “OCX implements layered security. It’s like an onion, with layers of security controls. That’s difficult to implement in legacy systems,” he said. “We can integrate new types of security controls as threats evolve.”

Sullivan said OCX Block 0 will “support readiness activities for the upcoming GPS 3 launch in December and for early orbit operations.”

Until OCX Block 1 is available, the updated legacy ground system will be used to integrate GPS 3 satellites into the operational constellation and to “start testing some of GPS 3’s advanced capabilities even earlier,” Lockheed Martin’s program manager Johnathon Caldwell said last week in a news release.

OCX meanwhile is proceeding forward to meet the June 2021 deadline. A significant event this summer was a successful qualification test for the monitoring station receivers, Sullivan said.

The GPS network has 16 monitoring sites that provide global coverage. Six are owned by the Air Force and 10 by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. They require sophisticated receivers to track GPS satellites as they pass overhead. The stations collect signals, measurements, and atmospheric data, and feed observations to the master control station.

A favorable qualification test “positions us to start deploying those monitoring station receivers in 2019,” said Sullivan.

OCX software development has  been accelerated and should be completed in 2019, Sullivan said. The company has a team of programmers developing, testing and turning around fixes using an Amazon Web Services cloud platform.

Raytheon’s OCX contract will be up for an extension in June 2021 when Block 1 is completed. “At that point have an option to sustain that system after delivery,” said Sullivan. “We do expect the Air Force to exercise that option before June 2021.”

Quelle: SN

----

Update: 13.12.2018

.

First GPS III satellite encapsulated for Dec. 18 SpaceX launch

first-lockheed-martin-gps3-w

GPS III SV01 is now encapsulated and will be placed on the SpaceX rocket for Dec. 18 launch. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The U.S. Air Force’s first Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite is now encapsulated for its planned Dec. 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01) underwent pre-launch processing, fueling and encapsulation at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. During encapsulation, GPS III SV01 was sealed in its launch fairing — an aerodynamic, nose-cone shell that protects the satellite during launch.

In the coming days, the fairing-enclosed satellite will be mounted to the rocket as launch preparations continue.

GPS III SV01 is the first of an entirely new design of GPS satellite that will help the Air Force modernize today’s GPS constellation with new technology and advanced capabilities.

GPS III has three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than any of the GPS satellites on-orbit today. GPS III’s new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite broadcasting a compatible signal with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo, improving connectivity for civilian users.

“The world is dependent on GPS. More than four billion military, commercial and civilian users connect with signals generated by GPS satellites every day,” said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Navigation Systems. “The launch of GPS III SV01 will be the first step in modernizing the Air Force’s GPS constellation with the most powerful and resilient GPS satellites ever designed and built.”

Lockheed Martin developed GPS III and manufactured GPS III SV01 at its advanced $128-million GPS III Processing Facility near Denver. In September 2017, the Air Force declared the satellite “Available for Launch” (AFL) and had the company place it into storage.

In 2017, the Air Force “called up” the satellite for launch and Lockheed Martin delivered it to Florida on Aug. 20. The Air Force nicknamed the satellite “Vespucci” after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

GPS III SV01 is the first of 10 GPS III satellites originally ordered by the Air Force. GPS III SV03-08 are now in various stages of assembly and test. In August, the Air Force declared the second GPS III “AFL” and, in November, called GPS III SV02 up for 2019 launch.

In September, the Air Force selected Lockheed Martin for the GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) program, an estimated $7.2 billion opportunity to build up to 22 additional GPS IIIF satellites with additional capabilities.

GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin’s existing modular GPS III, which was designed to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs. On Sept. 26, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.4 billion contract for support to start up the program and to contract the 11th and 12th GPS III satellite.

 
 
3098 Views