WASHINGTON – Lockheed Martin is redesigning the bus used for Global Positioning System satellites so that they can be upgraded with new hardware in Orbit, a company executive said Feb. 25

Eric Brown, Senior Director of Military Space Mission Strategy at Lockheed Martin, said this was significant as the thought today is, “Once something is in orbit, you are done with it. He said that thinking will change, when skills for in-space service and logistics become available in the coming years

The redesigned LM2100 commercial bus will be used in the future version of GPS 3 satellites known as the GPS 3F, Lockheed Martin anticipates the third satellite on the GPS 3F line will feature the upgraded bus, said Brown during a panel discussion at the Air Force Association’s Virtual Symposium on Aerospace Warfare

The panel was moderated by Brig Gen Steve Whitney, director of space programs for the Whitney Air Force division, who previously ran the GPS program at the Space and Missile Systems Center, noted that in-orbit maintenance is an emerging technology in the space industry and that DoD satellites should take advantage of it

Brown said that innovations in on-orbit logistics and service are driving the industry to think about new ways to develop satellites

“We will have the ability to enable docking in orbit, which will allow us to upgrade in orbit to introduce a new processor, introduce new sensor technologies that will allow us to increase the relevance and mission capability of a space platform” he said

The LM2100 is a great platform for satellites in the range of 2300 to 6500 kilograms

Brown said Lockheed Martin had been working on this upgrade for some time. One of the reasons was concerns that in-orbit satellite upgrades were seen as “really risky” and that there are now technologies that can do this with less risk. p>

Joseph Cassady, Executive Director of Space at Aerojet Rocketdyne, was also on the panel and mentioned the company’s interest in space logistics

Brown said Lockheed Martin plans to partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne in this area, “When we talk about the maturity of things like rendezvous and proximity operations, we have a lot of capabilities as an industry and certainly Aerojet Rocketdyne is a great company that also deals with such things, “said Brown

“Given the announcements we’ve received over the past few months, Lockheed Martin looks forward to the future as part of the Aerojet Rocketdyne family,” said Brown

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Source: https://spacenews.com/lockheed-martin-to-upgrade-gps-satellites-for-in-orbit-servicing/