Lockheed Martin has powered up the second GPS III satellite. The satellite's power was turned on at the company's GPS III Processing Facility in Denver on December 19, 2013.
Powering up is a major production milestone, according to Lockheed’s announcement. It “demonstrates the satellite’s mechanical integration, validates its interfaces, and leads the way for electrical and integrated hardware-software testing."
The first GPS III satellite was powered up in February 2013, and is now in the integration phase before launch. Lockheed is under contract for the first six GPS III satellites, and has received advanced procurement funding for long-lead components for the fifth through eighth satellites.
“The GPS III SV-02 bus power on is a significant milestone, positioning SV-02 in line with the Air Force’s first GPS III space vehicle, SV-01, in our GPF, where both satellites are progressing through sequential integration and test work stations specifically designed for efficient and affordable satellite production,” said Mark Stewart, vice president for Lockheed's navigation systems division.
GPS III satellites are designed to provide more accurate signals and better resist jamming than older models.