Getting to know GPS III and its capabilities
GPS 3 is an expensive program of the US government to include certain features in global positioning that uses the capabilities of Advanced anti-jamming includes a new high-resolution M-Code signal designed for military applications. A program that recently due to delay in launch, jamming, fraud or spoof and most importantly, a serious competitor from China named BeiDou has made news.
What is GPS 3?
Global Positioning System 3 is a satellite system designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems or LMSS (abbreviated as Lockheed Martin Space Systems) for the United States Air Force. . GPS Block III, formerly known as Block IIIA, consists of ten initial GPS 3 satellites that will be used to keep the Navstar Global Positioning System operational.
The Global Positioning System or GPS was fully operationalized by the United States on July 17, 1995. But the advancement of technology and the high demand for using this system made it necessary to update and upgrade it. Accordingly, in 2000, the US Congress authorized a plan that is now known as GPS 3. This project uses ground stations and new satellites that provide additional navigation signals for civilian and military users, at a high level of accuracy and accessibility.
The names of GPS 3 satellites have been determined by the US Air Force. The first satellite was called “Vespochi”; Derived from the name of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian navigator in whose honor the Western Hemisphere was named America. The second satellite is named “Magellan” in memory of Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer, and the third satellite is named “Columbus” after the inspiration of Christopher Columbus, another Italian explorer. The first satellite of this series was placed in the earth’s orbit in December 2018, and the tenth and last example is expected to be fully placed in the earth’s orbit by 2023.
What is M-Code antijamming in GPS?
One of the main components in the GPS optimization process is a new military signal called M-Code, which is used for secure access to location signals and antijamming capabilities. Military is used. According to preliminary predictions, GPS 3 is up to eight times more resistant to jamming than the current platform and relies on M-Code coding to protect GPS signals against jamming and fraud. The technology is currently active on 22 GPS satellites of various generations, while full operationalization requires M-Code activation on 24 satellites.
The improvement of these aspects will cause M-Code to be used not only in GPS 3, but also in older GPS satellites that are capable of using it (i.e. GPS IIR-M and GPS IIF satellites). to be In addition, the performance of M-Code can be monitored by ground controllers, while the testing and fielding of users’ equipment will also be supported.
However, the GPS Operational Control System (OCS) was only a temporary solution for Lockheed Martin to replace the problematic and unprepared “Next Generation Operational Control” (OCX) segment. The part that was initially designed specifically for M-Code management and its full prototype is to be delivered in 2021 and reach the operational stage by 2020.
M-Code technology is supposed to emit waves from a directional antenna with high power output in addition to wide angle antenna (full earth). Sending a signal on a directional antenna is called a “spot signal” and is used for a specific area (for example, an area with a diameter of several hundred kilometers) and increases the local signal strength by 20 dB. Of course, the side effects of using two antennas is that the GPS satellite appears to receivers in the spot beam as not one but two satellites with the same position.
What are the uses and advantages of GPS 3?
GPS 3 signaling is also up to 3 times more powerful and It allows the user to overcome possible interferences and receive the signal correctly. The purpose of GPS Block III is to provide greater reliability, accuracy and integrity in sending and receiving positioning signals. The satellites of this system also use the existing and improved features of Block IIR-M and IIF satellites, such as the L1C signal on the 1575.42MHz L1 frequency band, the L2C signal on the 1227.6MHz L2 frequency band, the “life safety” signal on the 1176.45MHz L5 frequency band. and military M-code are among them.
This system also makes it available to more people by expanding the location technology. The key to this expansion is the use of the new L1C civilian signal, which not only has a stronger signal, but can also be integrated with other international navigation satellite systems (GNSS). The L1C signal has a common frequency center with the European Galileo network, Japan’s QZSS and China’s BeiDou. In this way, GPS receivers in the future will be able to obtain location data from several satellite systems at the same time and use them for more accurate navigation.