SSC launches inquiry for GPS prototype development - GPS World

SSC launches inquiry for GPS prototype development

February 14, 2024  - By
Image: SSC

Image: SSC

The U.S. Space Systems Command (SSC), part of the United States Space Force, is actively seeking insights from the GNSS industry through a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the development of a Global Positioning System (GPS) Rapid Prototype Demonstration, Tranche 0.

This initiative is part of a strategic effort to upgrade GPS capabilities to meet modern challenges in space navigation and ensure continued operational superiority. This RFI aims to collect information about the industry’s capacity to innovate and deliver solutions that can enhance the GPS infrastructure. The focus is on identifying technologies and approaches that can reduce the size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) of future GPS satellites, streamline their production and launch processes and improve compatibility with a variety of launch vehicles.

According to the SSC, the goal of Tranche 0 is to create a prototype satellite that can emit certain GPS signals that are compatible with existing user equipment. The operation of this prototype in medium-Earth orbit (MEO), approximately 20,000 km above Earth, aims to test and validate these innovations in a real-world setting. The SSC’s approach aims to encourage collaboration, inviting both established and emerging players in the industry to showcase their abilities in rapid development, fabrication, and integration of GPS payloads.

Respondents to the RFI are reminded to adhere to security protocols to ensure that all submissions are unclassified, though they may include Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) if properly marked. The SSC has also provided references to essential GPS Interface Control Documents (ICDs) and performance standards.

View the full RFI here.

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