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Lockheed Martin upgrades GPS satellites for in-orbit maintenance



Eric Brown said that logistics and service technologies in orbit are driving the industry to think about new ways to design satellites.

Lockheed Martin said on February 25 that Lockheed Martin is redesigning the bus used for GPS satellites so that it can be upgraded with new hardware in orbit.

Eric Brown, senior director of military space mission strategy at Lockheed Martin, said this is important because today’s thinking is “Once something is done, it’s already in orbit.” He said that with the future With the emergence of space services and logistics functions in a few years, thinking will change.

The redesigned LM2100 commercial bus will be used in a future version of the GPS 3 satellite called GPS 3F. Brown said in a panel discussion at the Air Force Association’s Aerospace Virtual Symposium that Lockheed Martin hopes that the third satellite of the GPS 3F line will have an upgraded bus.

The group is chaired by Brig. General Steve Whitney, Director of the Air Department’s Space Program. Whitney once implemented the GPS program at the Space and Missile Systems Center. He pointed out that on-orbit maintenance is an emerging technology in the aerospace industry, and the Department of Defense satellites should take advantage of this advantage.

Brown said that innovations in orbital logistics and services are driving the industry to think about new ways to design satellites.

“We will have the ability to enable on-orbit docking, which will allow us to perform on-orbit upgrades to introduce new processors, introduce new sensor technologies, and so on, so that we can improve the relevance and mission capabilities of the space platform, “He said.

LM21

00 is a large platform for satellites in the range of 2300 to 6500 kilograms.

Brown said that Lockheed Martin has been doing this upgrade for some time. One of the motivations is to worry that satellite upgrades in orbit are considered “a very dangerous proposal,” and there are now technologies that can reduce the risk of achieving this goal.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Space Executive Director Joseph Cassady also attended the meeting and mentioned the company’s interest in space logistics.

Brown said that Lockheed Martin plans to cooperate with Aerojet Rocketdyne in this area. Brown said: “When we talk about the maturity of things like rendezvous and docking and close combat, we have a lot of capabilities across the industry. Of course, Aerojet Rocketdyne is also a great company that seems to be a similar thing.”

Lockheed Martin announced in December last year that it intends to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Brown said: “In light of our announcements over the past few months, Lockheed Martin hopes to become a future partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne.”


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