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Falcon 9: GPS-III SV-01 (DoD mission)

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DocM    15,517

Next-Gen GPS with 3x the accuracy and 8x the resistance to jamming. 

 

Satellite: GPS III SV-01
Launch date: December 18, 2018
Launch time: 0924-0950 Eastern (1424-1450 GMT)
Pad LC-40
Booster: B1054.1
Recovery: expendable

 

Why expendable? Guesses run from (1) DoD wanting huge performance margins, (2) there being an unannounced secondary payload, to (3) DoD running tests to see what Block 5's limits are after the primary payload is deployed.

 

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GPS III: US Air Force Partnership with SpaceX

Space and Missile Systems Center Los Angeles AFB
Published on Nov 7, 2018

Col. Steve Whitney, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center's Global Positioning Systems Directorate provides a preview of the upcoming launch of the "First of Firsts" with the latest series of satellites: GPS III SV-01.  Also affectionately known as "Vespucci," in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci, for whom the American continents are named, this GPS III satellite is scheduled for its mid-December debut, lifting off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Just as important is the teamwork and partnerships across the entire space enterprise, from SMC's Launch Enterprise Directorate to satellite manufacturer Lockheed Martin and launch provider SpaceX.

 

 

 

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GPS III: US Air Force GPS Modernization

Space and Missile Systems Center Los Angeles AFB
Published on Nov 7, 2018

Here's the next segment in the Space and Missile Systems Center's continuing series of background videos on GPS III that answers the question, "How do you use it?"

Mr. David Madden, a retired Air Force colonel and former director of SMC's Global Positioning System Directorate, describes how the upcoming modernization of the GPS III-series of position, navigation and timing (PNT) satellites and the future role and impact it will play in everyone's daily lives.

Featuring cutting-edge graphics and file footage from industry partners Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado and SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, this segment also covers the excitement and team partnerships for the first National Security Space launch of a GPS national asset on SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

 

 

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

 

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DocM    15,517

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

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DocM    15,517

Weather: 80% GO

Risk: Thick Cloud Rule

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DocM    15,517

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

SV 01 Press Kit pdf

 

126736696_GPS3SV1.thumb.jpg.cd7c1f7d74ba9782d252c6f53227c0cd.jpg

 

609289833_GPS3SV1patch.thumb.jpg.d6528edf736d650bc372ef70b81c32f9.jpg

 

Both of the above from the press kit posted above.

 

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Navigating politics, SpaceX’s successes attract executive-level attention
 

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — It looks like SpaceX will have its latest scheduled launch, that of the GPS III navigational satellite, attended by a politician who has shown great interest in U.S. space efforts.

 

Pence is expected to make an appearance on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Nearby, at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket is poised to launch the GPS III SV01 satellite on behalf of the United States Air Force.

 

Pence’s visit was mentioned on Twitter as early as Wednesday, Dec. 12. yet apparently came as a surprise to some within the “space belt.”

 

This isn’t the first, second or even third time Pence has visited space-related centers and events. The Vice-President has made stops at NASA’s Johnson, Kennedy and Marshall Space Centers, the agency’s Headquarters and other locations. Pence is expected to make remarks after a successful launch which is currently scheduled to take place at 9:11 a.m. ET (14:11 GMT).

 

https://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/space-exploration-technologies/navigating-politics-spacexs-successes-attract-executive-level-attention/

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

DuqdPcKW0AAzm3r.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

DuqMiJXWwAEpCHz.jpg

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

GPS Flickr site with a lot of quality images in various stages

 

Lockheed Martin GPS site

 

This satellite contract has been fraught with delays and malfunctioning assemblies. The OCX nightmare has been another issue.

 

The satellite listed as SV-01 will be launched...without full functionality ( civ band) until the OCX issue has been addressed. This satellite also received a waiver from the AF to fly due to the contractor testing the wrong "part" of an assembly and retest time was too long.

 

LM also got the additional add on contract...no one else wanted to touch this. The AF was hoping another large contractor would come on board...but, no luck.

 

I'll cover some of this in later posts or launches if I am well enough.

 

I would also like to do a GPS "mini lab"...there is a lot of incorrect youtube garbage out there.

 

Article from a few months ago...bit of extra data...

 

Lockheed Martin Space lands $7.2B deal to keep building Air Force GPS satellites in Colorado

 

Quote

The mystery since spring wasn't whether the U.S. Air Force would keep Lockheed Martin Space building its new generation of global position satellites but how much it would spend.

Now we know.

 

U.S. Air Force on Friday committed to paying the Jefferson County-based aerospace company up to $7.2 billion to build the next 22 GPS III satellites for the military.

 

“The world is dependent on GPS, from getting directions to getting cash from an ATM machine or trading on the stock exchange,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, in a statement. “These satellites will provide greater accuracy, and improved anti-jamming capabilities making them more resilient.”

 

The fixed-price contract works out to an average cost of $327.2 million per satellite.

 

Lockheed Martin Space is the prime contractor building the first 10 GPS III satellites for the Air Force.

 

The Air Force decided in 2015 to open competition to see whether Boeing Co. or Northrop Grumman could come up with better proposals to build the remaining 22 orbiters, the first of which is scheduled launch in 2026.

 

Both companies dropped out and decided against bidding earlier this year, leaving Lockheed Martin Space the lone option.

 

Quote

Boeing and Lockheed have seesawed back and forth since the mid-1990s as the prime contractor building GPS satellites, and each company has built some of the orbiters being used today.

 

The Air Force aims to have at least 27 functioning GPS satellites in orbit at all times. It replaces aging orbiters over time, launching new GPS orbiters regularly.

 

Lockheed Martin Space invested $128 million to modify a giant clean room and testing chamber at its campus outside Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver after it won the initial GPS III satellite contract 10 years ago.

 

Boeing Defense, Space & Security, a division of the Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant (NYSE: BA), revealed in April that it declined to submit a final bid on GPS III and Northrop Grumman later confirmed it too dropped out, even though companies had taken earlier steps to prove to U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missiles Systems Center, in El Segundo, California, that they were capable of the work.

 

Quote

The Air Force had encouraged competition to build the remaining satellites in the GPS III fleet after Lockheed Martin Space's production under the first contract fell two years behind schedule.

 

That was partly due to problems with a key navigation instrument made by Exelis Geospatial Systems, a subcontractor owned by Harris Corp. By the time the companies resolved the navigation payload issues, the Air Force had committed to open competitive bidding for the contract to build the second half of the GPS III feet.

 

Lockheed Martin Space — a 14,000-employee division of Bethesda, Maryland-based defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) — completed the first GPS III satellite last year and delivered it to the Air Force. Last month, the second of the Colorado-built GPS IIIs was declared finished and available for future launch.

Four others are in varying stages of production at its 5,300-employee headquarters campus.

 

The company says it has already received 90 percent of the parts it needs from 250 suppliers to build all 10 satellites under its existing contract.

 

The first launch of a GPS III satellite is expected late this year by Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX.

 

A new ground system for the satellites, known as the Operational Control System, or OCX system, which will manage the old and new GPS orbiters and their data, is being built in Aurora by Raytheon Co., a project estimated to cost more than $5 billion before it's done.

more at the link...

https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2018/09/14/lockheed-martin-space-air-force-contract.html

 

// The software has to control present and new GPS 3 systems...at the same time. The OCX has been a real thorn and hopefully will be dependable in quick order.

// SpaceX is contracted to get it to orbit....that is all...need to keep an eye on satellite health after this one...if the health is even released to the public right away.

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

I finally found the article that I think generally encompasses the major issues for the next few years with regard to GPS 3 operational capability.

 

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

Quote

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.

 

Quote

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.

 

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.”

https://spacenews.com/as-gps-3-launch-nears-air-force-keeps-watchful-eye-on-ground-controls/

 

This will be a real trying time. I cannot over emphasis how important GPS is to major world services in general..,.This system does drastically more than just "navigation".

 

The roll out has me a bit tense...The Air Force will have "all" eyes on this project...this has "literal" global and orbital implications for success.

 

Bar none, but in my opinion...this is the most important satellite system with civilian implications on the planet and this transition has to be fluid.

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Draggendrop    5,747
Quote

New T-0 of 9:34 EST, 14:34 UTC, to account for upper level winds. Launch webcast will go live about 15 minutes before liftoff → http://spacex.com/webcast 

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1075020725545689088

 

 

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747
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The demands of launching the first in a new line of GPS navigation satellites, including a late load of extra fuel for the spacecraft & a maneuver to eliminate space junk, will keep SpaceX from landing its Falcon 9 rocket booster after launch Tuesday. https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/12/17/air-force-requirements-will-keep-spacex-from-recovering-falcon-9-booster-after-gps-launch/ …

DurgxVYUwAAmIvg.thumb.jpg.36f77f9189160e6ca005bbb9a844c3bb.jpg

 

https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1074919603984367616

 

DurgxVYUwAAmIvg.jpg

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Upper level winds are dicey...looks like they will try it up to the window for wind velocity change...

 

 

 

 

500434472_GPS3SV1.thumb.jpg.4b173b0b2055718901b56903086906ef.jpg

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

SpaceX FM on now....broadcast soon...

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

S2 LOX underway

we are live...

 

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

upper level winds trending green for now....still THE issue...

 

 

This "is" a crime...a naked booster...neglected to the sea....

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Beittil    534

Still a hold now... bleh.

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Draggendrop    5,747

We have a hold...probably an abort...

Post scrub turnaround...24 hour

 

 

 

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Jim K    11,616

Scrub.

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DocM    15,517

Abort (flight computer triggered) & Scrub. Ran out of window after the wind delay.

Try again tomorrow. 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

Appears to have been an on board computer triggered abort.

 

Back on for tomorrow....this is turning into "I don't want to launch today" Tuesday.

 

NROL tonight...and it has rough weather...

 

 

 

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Beittil    534

Man, December 18th hates launches and trows them all over the fence to the 19th 😛

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Draggendrop    5,747

of interest...UTC wise...

 

 

 

 

 

She'll go tomorrow...

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