06 Sep 2019

BAE Systems’ single board computer powers GPS III satellite

The US Air Force has launched its second GPS III satellite, billed as the most powerful Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite ever built.

BAE Systems’ RAD750 Single Board Computer (SBC), part of Harris Corporation’s navigation payload for GPS III prime contractor Lockheed Martin, will provide radiation hardened, high-performance onboard processing capability for the satellite’s mission.

To modernise the GPS constellation with new technology and advanced capabilities, the Air Force began launching its new, next-generation GPS III satellites in December 2018. GPS III is three times more accurate and has up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities over current GPS satellites.

GPS III is the first GPS satellite to broadcast the new L1C civil signal to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo. The Air Force has announced plans to build up to 32 GPS III and IIIF satellites, for which BAE Systems’ SBCs could provide long-lasting computing power on each mission.

James LaRosa, Director of Space Processor and Products at BAE Systems, said: “Security and reliability are key to ensuring warfighters can depend on GPS signals.

“Our rad-hard RAD750 processor can withstand radiation doses a million times stronger than a fatal human dose, and that durability is valued on missions like the GPS III.”

Radiation hardened computers are produced at BAE Systems’ facility in Manassas, Virginia. The facility is a US Department of Defense Category 1A Microelectronics Trusted Source.

image courtesy of BAE Systems

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