April 10, 2009 – The GPS IIR-20(M) satellite successfully transmitted for the first time a GPS signal in the L5 frequency band today (April 10), according to the U.S. Air Force operators of the Global Positioning System. L5, the third civil GPS signal, will eventually support safety-of-life applications for aviation and provide improved availability and accuracy to users.
This broadcast brings into use the GPS International Telecommunication Union filing at 1176.45 MHz in the highly protected and co-allocated Radio Navigation Satellite Service and Aeronautical Radio Navigation Service band. A joint team consisting of the GPS Wing, Lockheed Martin, ITT, and The Aerospace Corporation developed the “L5 Demonstration” signal payload and integrated it onto the GPS IIR-20(M) spacecraft, which launched March 24, 2009.
The initial broadcast of the L5 Demonstration signal was monitored and validated by SRI International in Menlo Park, California, in cooperation with the GPS Wing, the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colorado; Lockheed Martin, Draper Laboratory, and The MITRE Corporation.
"This new, third civil signal will make possible the research and development of safety-of-life applications for the commercial transportation sector, and in the future, will play a vital role in improving safety, fuel efficiency, and capacity in our airspace, waterways, highways, and railroads," said Mr. Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, Department of Transportation. "Today’s event marks another important step in the ongoing effort to maintain and modernize GPS as the global standard for space-based positioning, navigation, and timing.”
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More info from GPS World:
* L5 GPS Signal Now Being Transmitted from IIR(M)-20 Satellite
* United States Air Force Successfully Transmits L5 Signal from GPS IIR-20(M) Satellite
* L5 Demonstration Event: Don Jewell Reports