ITT Exelis has been awarded a $2.15 million contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to research the development of a small satellite navigation payload to augment the current GPS program. The GPS NAVSAT (Navigation Satellite) program seeks to provide affordable capabilities to aid end-users located in tough-to-reach environments.
“The development of smaller satellites — in terms of size, weight, power and cost — will yield greater affordability for our customers,” said Mark Pisani, vice president and general manager, Precision Instruments and Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems, ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems. “A smaller satellite size will allow for improved launch vehicle selection flexibility.”
The goal of the 18-month initial study is to identify innovative ways to increase affordability and sustainment of the GPS program through payload weight reduction, size and power. The GPS NAVSAT will maintain similar performance capability to the existing GPS system, but will aid GPS end-users in signal-constrained environments, located in urban or mountainous terrain.
Work on GPS NAVSAT is performed in Clifton and Bloomfield, New Jersey.
For nearly 40 years, Exelis payloads and payload components have been on board every GPS satellite with more than 500 years of on-orbit life without a single mission-related failure due to Exelis equipment.