Exelis to research low-cost GPS alternatives under AFRL contract

BLOOMFIELD, N.J., 24 Jan. 2013. ITT Exelis (NYSE:XLS) engineers will research the development of a small satellite navigation payload to augment the current global positioning system (GPS) program under an 18-month, $2.15 million Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract. The new contract falls under the GPS NAVSAT (Navigation Satellite) program, the goal of which is to provide affordable capabilities to end-users in tough-to-reach environments.

"The development of smaller satellites--in terms of size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C)--will yield greater affordability for our customers,” explains Mark Pisani, vice president and general manager, Precision Instruments and Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems, ITT Exelis Geospatial Systems. “A smaller satellite size will allow for improved launch vehicle selection flexibility.”

The study’s aim is to identify innovative ways to increase the affordability and sustainment of the GPS program through payload weight reduction, size, and power. The GPS NAVSAT will maintain similar performance capability to the existing GPS system, but will aid GPS end-users in signal-constrained environments, such as in urban or mountainous terrain.

Work on GPS NAVSAT is being performed in Clifton, N.J., and Bloomfield, N.J.


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