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NTS-3 satellite to launch this year

May 4, 2023  - By
Credit: L3Harris Technologies YouTube video

The Navigation Technology Satellite–3 (NTS-3) — designed, built and tested by L3Harris — is on track to launch this year. The experimental satellite aims to shape the future of U.S. positioning, navigation and timing capabilities and to help U.S. forces to operate in GPS-denied environments and areas prone to spoofing.

NTS-3 minimizes the impacts of GPS jamming through rapidly reprogrammable signal waveforms, frequency agility and increased signal strength. Its embedded software and firmware are reprogrammable on-orbit.

When paired with reprogrammable receivers, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force can react in real time as threats evolve on the battlefield. In addition, NTS-3 has enhanced processors to support more complex signals.

In January, L3Harris delivered the NTS-3 vehicle to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, to prepare the satellite for launch. The Air Force Research Laboratory and L3Harris are working together to complete space vehicle testing, launch vehicle integration and enterprise integration to confirm compatibility between the control segment, ground receivers and the satellite vehicle.

NTS-3 is scheduled to launch later this year aboard United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket. Once launched, NTS-3 will remain in a near-geosynchronous orbit for an inaugural year of testing.

About the Author: Maddie Saines

Maddie was a managing editor at GPS World.