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Monday, April 13, 2009

Draper responsible for Monitoring and Validation of Air Force's Initial Broadcast of the L5 Demonstration Signal from GPS IIR-20(M) Satellite

Air Force Successfully Transmits an L5 Signal From GPS IIR-20(M) Satellite

4/13/2009 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force GPS IIR-20(M) satellite successfully transmitted for the first time a GPS signal in the L5 frequency band today. L5, the third civil GPS signal, will eventually support safety-of-life applications for aviation and provide improved availability and accuracy. 

This broadcast brings into use the GPS International Telecommunication Union filing at 1176.45 MHz in the highly protected and co-allocated Radio Navigation Satellite Service and Aeronautical Radio Navigation Service band. A joint team consisting of the GPS Wing, Lockheed Martin, ITT and The Aerospace Corporation developed the "L5 Demonstration" signal payload and integrated it onto the GPS IIR-20(M) spacecraft, which launched March 24, 2009. 

The initial broadcast of the L5 Demonstration signal was monitored and validated by SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif, in cooperation with the GPS Wing, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Lockheed Martin, Draper Laboratory and The MITRE Corporation. 

"Thanks to the men and women of the Air Force, our industry partners and national research institute, this morning's successful L5 transmission marks an important milestone in GPS civilian applications. This new third civil signal will make possible the research and development of safety-of-life applications for the commercial transportation sector, and in the future, will play a vital role in improving safety, fuel efficiency, and capacity in our airspace, waterways, highways, and railroads. Today's event marks another important step in the ongoing effort to maintain and modernize GPS as the global standard for space-based positioning, navigation, and timing," said Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation. 

"The L5 demonstration payload effort shows the can-do spirit and dedication of all who work in this industry and is an example of a government/industry team working together to meet a significant challenge in a very short time. Development of a solid plan and schedule, adherence to that plan, and consistently looking ahead allowed for a timely and successful completion of the L5 effort," said Col. Dave Madden, Commander, and Global Positioning Systems Wing. 

Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world's best space and missile systems for the joint warfighter and the nation. 

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