More than 100 experiments planned for NTS-3

Additional than 100 experiments will be executed with the Navigation Technological innovation Satellite-3 (NTS-3), set to start up coming calendar year, according to a U.S. Air Force formal and reported by FedScoop.

“We’re truly fired up to drive the point out of the artwork with more than 100 experiments on this little [NTS-3] spacecraft and we’re on the lookout at methods that we can address warfighters’ problems in the contested environment,” Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, commander of AFRL, told reporters April 6 at the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle

Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle

Established to launch in 2023, NTS-3 is designed to force the boundary of today’s situation, navigation and timing (PNT) know-how to pave the way for a far more adaptable, sturdy, and resilient architecture for satellite navigation technological know-how.

NTS-3 is a products of the Air Pressure Study Laboratory (AFRL) and industry, created to examination state-of-the-art tactics and systems to detect and mitigate interference to PNT capabilities and raise system resiliency for military services, civil, and commercial buyers.

Compared with the GPS medium-Earth-orbit satellites, NTS-3 will run for one calendar year in geosynchronous Earth orbit. Ultimately, NTS-3 will discover essential aspects for new GPS receivers that include many signals and quickly adapt to warfighter needs.

The NTS-3 experiments will also involve ground devices and terminals this kind of as command and control stations and program-defined radios. Particular enhancements to the ground segment will permit experimentation with automated “lights-out” functions, handle station failover, and in the vicinity of-genuine time atmosphere sensing and era of mistake correction and tailored waveforms. Onboard systems will monitor clock accuracy and orbit parameters to mitigate faults and notify the consumer.

NTS-3 will take a look at a new digital sign generator that can be reprogrammed on-orbit, enabling it to broadcast new indicators, increase effectiveness by preventing and defeating interference, and adding signatures to counter spoofing.

AFRL also will examine antenna configurations to offer Earth protection and steerable regional beams in several frequencies and sign codes. The NTS-3 satellite will be equipped with 110 antennas to assist counter attempted GPS jamming.

Finally, NTS-3 is expected to give users with enhanced sign balance, availability, integrity and precision.

L3Harris programs to deliver NTS-3 later this 12 months. The corporation is assembling the satellite at its Palm Bay facility close to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The plant was expanded in 2021 to accommodate the NTS-3 plan.

Image: Air Force Research Laboratory

All pictures: Air Power Investigate Laboratory