ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) has been awarded a $2.15 million contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to research the development of a small satellite navigation payload to augment the current Global Positioning System (GPS) program. The GPS NAVSAT (Navigation Satellite) program seeks to provide affordable capabilities to aid end-users located in tough-to-reach environments.
“The development of smaller satellites -- in terms of size, weight, power and cost -- will yield greater affordability for our customers,” said Mark Pisani, vice president and general manager, Precision Instruments and Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems, Exelis Geospatial Systems. “A smaller satellite size will allow for improved launch vehicle selection flexibility.”
The goal of the 18-month initial study is to identify innovative ways to increase 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, located in urban or mountainous terrain.
Work on GPS NAVSAT is performed in Clifton, N.J., and in Bloomfield, N.J.For nearly 40 years, Exelis payloads and payload components have been on board every GPS satellite with more than 500 years of on-orbit life without a single mission-related failure due to Exelis equipment. GPS technology has changed the world by increasing productivity, safety and effectiveness across a variety of industries including farming, construction, mining, surveying and supply chain management. It is found in everything from cell phones to shipping containers, Air Traffic Management, communications networks, banking systems, financial markets, power grids, military assets and much more. About ITT Exelis ITT Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense and information solutions company with strong positions in enduring and emerging global markets. Exelis is a leader in networked communications, sensing and surveillance, electronic warfare, navigation, air traffic solutions and information systems with growing positions in cyber security, composite aerostructures, logistics and technical services. The company has a 50-year legacy of innovation and technology expertise, partnering with customers worldwide to deliver affordable, mission-critical products and services for managing global threats, conflicts and complexities. Headquartered in McLean, Va., the company employs about 20,500 people and generated 2011 sales of $5.8 billion. www.exelisinc.com