(Phoenix, August 18, 2010) -- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that its On Board Computer (OBC), Reaction Wheel Assembly (RWA) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which are part of the United States Air Force (USAF) Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) III program built by Lockheed Martin, have successfully completed Critical Design Reviews (CDRs).
"Achieving the CDR milestone demonstrates that the OBC, RWA and IMU have completed a rigorous design phase and utilizes the GPS III systems engineering and program management fundamentals," said Dave Douglass, vice president of Space, Missiles and Munitions at Honeywell Aerospace. "The OBC will run flight software that provides attitude, power, and thermal control for the GPS III space vehicle."
The total contract value for these three components to be delivered to Lockheed Martin Space Systems, prime contractor for the GPS III program, is more than $106 million through the life of the program. Honeywell's OBC is part of the GPS III space vehicle's telemetry, tracking and command subsystem, and provides redundant processors utilized throughout all phases of operation including launch, transfer orbit, nominal operations and disposal. It replaces older processor technology, and is the first radiation hardened high speed processing system based on PowerPC technology designed to operate through the harsh GPS III radiation environments.
Honeywell's RWA and IMU are part of the attitude control subsystem. The RWA provides momentum control for the space vehicle, which allows it to provide more accurate positioning to ground GPS users. Honeywell's IMU provides attitude reference information for the space vehicle and replaces older inertial sensor technology with fiber optic gyroscopes, extending mission capability by 50 percent.
The USAF GPS provides precise timing and positioning information for military and civil users. The GPS III system, scheduled to begin launching in 2014, will provide additional signals to improve accuracy as well as anti-jamming measures crucial for the U.S. military. Honeywell has delivered five OBC engineering development units to date in support of early flight software development and subsystem integration risk reduction initiatives.
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