L3Harris Technologies has delivered a positioning, navigation and timing satellite technology to the Air Force Research Laboratory in preparation for the spacecraft’s launch in late 2023.
The Navigation Technology Satellite-3 payload is now stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, where it will undergo functional and performance evaluation prior to integration into Northrop Grumman‘s small-satellite carrier bus ESPAStar, the U.S. Air Force’s 505th Command and Control Wing said Thursday.
NTS-3 will demonstrate space-based PNT technologies as part of the Department of the Air Force’s Vanguard initiative.
The technologies will generate and transmit PNT signals to ground users through the Global Navigation Satellite System Test Architecture developed by Mitre in partnership with the AFRL Sensors Directorate.
AFRL and L3Harris will perform first radio frequency broadcast tests of the PNT signals and conduct standard space environment tests to verify the satellite’s operational readiness.
NTS-3 is the first PNT experiment of the U.S. in almost 50 years.