The long run-oriented Navigation Expertise Satellite tv for pc-3 (NTS-3) spacecraft has taken another step in the direction of its in-space demonstration, scheduled for 2023. The satellite tv for pc bus that can carry it has arrived at L3Harris Applied sciences of Palm Bay, Florida, delivered by Northrop Grumman Company.
NTS-3 will pioneer new capabilities for nationwide protection, amongst them to responsively mitigate interference to place, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities, and improve system resiliency for GPS navy, civil and industrial customers.
“The switch of the bus permits L3Harris to maneuver ahead constructing the NTS-3 spacecraft,” stated 2nd Lt. Charles Schramka, this system’s deputy principal investigator. “L3Harris will carry out exams and start integrating the NTS-3 PNT payload onto the bus. Collectively the bus and payload will kind the NTS-3 spacecraft.”
Floor integration exams of the experimental NTS-3 satellite tv for pc, designed to exhibit alternate positioning, navigation and timing capabilities to these now offered by GPS, will start subsequent month.
Among the many ideas to be demo’d and examined is CHIMERA. AFRL has labored with a number of contributors to develop the brand new authentication technique, Chips Message Strong Authentication. CHIMERA is a GPS sign authentication technique that collectively authenticates each the navigation knowledge and spreading code of the L1C sign. CHIMERA makes use of time-binding, wherein the spreading code is punctured by markers which are cryptographically generated utilizing a key derived from the digitally signed navigation message.
“We’re simply stepping into what we name the ‘end-to-end system integration’ take a look at. We’re kicking that off in August, after which that can proceed right through ’until we get to the launch web site,” Arlen Biersgreen, AFRL’s program supervisor, stated this week.
Following L3Harris’s work, AFRL will take a look at the bus with the NTS-3 floor management and consumer gear segments, and can carry out its personal built-in testing on the general NTS-3 system structure.
The AFRL Transformational Capabilities Workplace at Wright-Patterson AFB and House Autos Directorate, positioned at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, N.M, are in partnership with the 2 business corporations for the bus improvement and integration.
“That is the primary time an ESPAStar bus has been constructed and delivered as a commercially-available commodity,” stated Arlen Biersgreen, the NTS-3 program supervisor. “NTS-3 is utilizing a novel acquisition mannequin for the ESPAStar line that totally workout routines the industrial nature of Northrop Grumman’s product line, with a view to present the bus to a different protection contractor for payload integration utilizing customary interfaces.”
The ESPAStar-D bus, in-built Northrop Grumman’s satellite tv for pc manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona, contains vital subsystems corresponding to communications, energy, angle dedication and management, along with configurable constructions to mount payloads.
The ESPAStar-D bus is designed to make use of an Advanced Expendable Launch Automobile (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA), permitting a number of separate experimental payloads to be stacked collectively on one launch car.
Schramka added, “This month we took supply of an experimental receiver often known as GNSS Check Structure (GNSSTA), developed by our sister AFRL unit, the Sensors Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and Mitre Company. GNSSTA is a reprogrammable software program outlined sign receiver that permits us to obtain the legacy GPS and superior indicators generated by NTS-3.”
NTS-3 will probably be based mostly in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO, some 36,000 kilometers above the Earth), fairly than decrease down in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) the place GPS abides. Utilizing GEO, Biersgreen stated, will demo “a hybrid house structure, to supply augmentation primarily to the GPS constellation itself.”