Lockheed Martin to upgrade GPS satellites for in-orbit servicing – SpaceNews

Eric Brown mentioned on-orbit logistics and servicing applied sciences are driving the business to consider new methods of designing satellites. 

WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin is redesigning the bus used for International Positioning System satellites to allow them to be upgraded with new {hardware} on orbit, an organization government mentioned Feb. 25.

Eric Brown, senior director of army house at Lockheed Martin, mentioned that is vital as a result of the considering at the moment is that “as soon as one thing was on orbit you have been carried out with it.” He mentioned that considering will change as capabilities for in-space servicing and logistics develop into accessible within the years forward.

The redesigned LM2100 business bus shall be used within the future version of GPS 3 satellites known as GPS 3F. Lockheed Martin expects the third satellite tv for pc of the GPS 3F line may have the upgraded bus, Brown mentioned throughout a panel on the Air Power Affiliation’s aerospace warfare digital symposium. 

The panel was moderated by Brig. Gen. Steve Whitney, director of house packages for the Division of the Air Power. Whitney, who beforehand ran the GPS program on the and Missile Methods Middle, famous that on-orbit servicing is an emerging technology within the house business and DoD satellites ought to reap the benefits of it. 

Brown mentioned improvements in on-orbit logistics and servicing are driving the business to consider new methods of designing satellites. 

“We’re going to have the potential to allow on-orbit docking, which is able to enable us to do on-orbit upgrades for bringing in a brand new processor, bringing in new sensor applied sciences, issues like that, that allow us to extend the relevance and the mission functionality of an area platform,” he mentioned.

The LM2100 is a big platform used for satellites within the vary of two,300 to six,500 kilograms. 

Brown mentioned Lockheed Martin has been engaged on this improve for a while. One of many motivators was considerations that satellite tv for pc upgrades on orbit have been considered as “a extremely proposition” and that there are actually applied sciences to make that attainable with much less danger. 

Joseph Cassady, government director for house at Aerojet Rocketdyne, additionally was on the panel and talked about the corporate’s’ curiosity in in-space logistics.

Brown mentioned Lockheed Martin plans to with Aerojet Rocketdyne on this space. “After we discuss concerning the maturity of issues like rendezvous and proximity operations, we’ve received plenty of functionality round as an business, and positively Aerojet Rocketdyne is an incredible firm issues like that as effectively,” mentioned Brown.

Lockheed Martin in December introduced it intends to accumulate Aerojet Rocketdyne. 

“Given the bulletins we’ve had previously couple of months, Lockheed Martin seems to accomplice with Aerojet Rocketdyne on out into the long run, as a part of the household,” Brown mentioned. 

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