A U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team is preparing to launch a modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, which includes a demonstration payload that will transmit a new third civil signal, known as L5. This spacecraft is set for launch aboard a Delta II rocket on March 24 from Cape Canaveral.
The L5 demonstration payload will comply with international radio frequency spectrum requirements and pave the way for future generations of GPS spacecraft that will include an operational third civil signal to improve the accuracy and performance capabilities of the system.
The satellite is the seventh in a line of eight IIR satellites. Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.