NTS-3, to be launched in the early 2020s nearly 45 years after NTS-2, will demonstrate new technologies and concepts along with experimental components and technologies for all three segments: space, control, and user. Through a combination of development contracts by traditional defense contractors and Small Business Innovative Research contracts, developments of amplifiers, digital waveform generators, antennas, ground systems, and PNT architectures are progressing.At the heart of the experiment is an On-Orbit Digital Waveform Generator (ORDWG). The ORDWG enables additional experiments with advanced waveforms. AFRL has developed concepts for signal authentication and dynamic spectrum access, as well as building on the satnav waveform literature to consider enhancements such as Binary Coded Subcarrier, enhanced C/A-code, and a military acquisition signal. The AFRL Sensors Directorate and the Air Force Institute of Technology are key partners in developing ground test receivers for waveform experiments that will utilize advanced software defined receivers.Other components that will be evaluated on NTS-3 include highly-efficient amplifiers utilizing Gallium Nitrite, and other technologies that provide power efficiency and flexibility. Improvements to accuracy and integrity will be evaluated with advanced clocks and on-board ephemeris compensation, with application to resilient PNT.The NTS-3 space segment will include new components that have never been flown on GPS space vehicles. An advanced antenna system will demonstrate the effectiveness and affordability of high-gain regional power for military users, and the ability to control the beam in near-real time. One of the key experiments with the high-gain antenna is to determine the impact of a steerable beam on phase center bias and variation, for both the users of the high-power signals and the users of the Earth coverage signals.Ground control segment experiments include high-gain regional antenna operation, use of commercial SATCOM assets for TT&C, placement of cybersecurity protection mechanisms and evaluating integrity enhancement techniques. One key area is emulating the CONOPS for a high-power regional beam request. This will include pointing location, at what elevation angle to turn on the beam, required received power level, duration, time required to initialize the payload in terms of software uploading (if needed), and hardware warm-up (if needed).AFRL/RV is seeking collaboration from industry, government agencies, and universities in developing experimental concepts and participating in the flight experiment. The NTS-3 flight experiment, with an expected launch in the early 2020s and an experimental phase lasting approximately one year, provides a unique opportunity, the first in 45 years, to conduct space-based technology experiments for PNT, and advance the state of the art for next-generation satellite navigation.
2. BACKGROUND2.1 NTS-3 builds upon 40 years of Global Positioning System (GPS) developments and is expected to help shape the future of satellite navigation capabilities. NTS-1 and NTS-2 were flown in 1974 and 1977 respectively, and these experimental satellites qualified both the rubidium and cesium clocks that form the backbone of today's modern GPS architecture.3. DESCRIPTION OF INTEREST3.1 The United States Air force is seeking interested parties on an integrated space-based experiment for advanced GPS technologies that are resilient in contested environments. The integrated experiment contains both a space payload and a ground control segment that together increase the resiliency of the entire GPS architecture. The Government is interested in space payload and ground control segment design and fabrication; assembly, integration and test (AI&T); and follow-on support through launch and Government led on-orbit operations. Additionally, the Government is interested in an integrated space-based experiment that achieves Technology Readiness Level 6, via ground testing, no later than 2021 to support a launch in the 2022 time frame. AFRL integrated space experiments are designed for a one (1) year threshold and three (3) year objective on orbit mission life from launch and follow a proto-qualification ground test strategy for launch and space environment compatibility. On-orbit operations are normally performed by the Government.3.2 The ground segment is envisioned to utilize the Multi-Mission Space Operations Center (MMSOC) open architecture standard, as well as the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) for primary direct, secure communications. The Government is specifically interested in ground control segment information tailored to controlling and generating the GPS payload Signals in Space (SIS) as well as advanced capabilities outlined in the objectives below. Information pertaining to MMSOC implementation and spacecraft Tracking Telemetry & Control (TT&C) is not required in the response and should be included only to provide context or illustrate the complete segment. The Air Force is not interested in responses for advanced User Equipment (UE) receiver information at this time.3.3 Space Payload Segment:ObjectivesNTS-3 will experiment with technologies to enable the broadcast of an increased number of signals on L1.NTS-3 will experiment with technologies to improve Satellite Navigation anti-jam performance by overcoming and avoiding jamming while maintaining signal accuracy.NTS-3 will experiment with technologies to counter spoofing.NTS-3 will explore modifications and enhancements to all layers (carrier, code and data layers and sublayers) of the Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) signal to enhance resiliency and improve PNT performance.NTS-3 will investigate assured-by-design technologies to enhance GPS mission resiliency in a cyber-contested environment.NTS-3 will investigate modern processes to manage cyber risks.NTS-3 will experiment with technologies to maintain signal accuracy after loss of contact with the ground control segment.NTS-3 will investigate methods to improve on-board GPS signal integrity detection and notification to users.NTS-3 will demonstrate improved accuracy with advanced clock and ephemeris correction technologies (ground system must be capable of measuring improvements).NTS-3 will demonstrate flying to the ephemeris of an unchanging navigation data message (ground system must be capable of measuring improvements).NTS-3 will measure the space and spacecraft environmental effects on next generation (improved performance and/or improved manufacturability) atomic clock technologies.NTS-3 will investigate antenna configurations to ensure GPS availability and signal strength for terrestrial and space users.3.4 Ground Control Segment:ObjectivesNTS-3 requires a ground segment capable of achieving the above space payload segment objectives.NTS-3 will investigate alternate methods to reconstitute the ground control segment in the event of an attack.NTS-3 will experiment with automated/lights-out operations.NTS-3 will demonstrate space vehicle command and control through commercial ground antennas.NTS-3 will demonstrate compatibility with the Enterprise Ground System (EGS) standards and the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) Mission System (JMS).NTS-3 will investigate modern processes to manage cyber risks.
Anybody know if a contract was finally awarded for development/production of NTS-3? Based on the earlier BAA, a 51 month development schedule was anticipated. With launch scheduled for 2020-22 per the forum US Launch Schedule, that means the contract was already awarded, or imminent. Any info would be appreciated!
SUBJECT: Broad Agency Announcement Number FA9453-17-S-0002, "Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) CALL 001," Cancellation Notification dated 26 Sep 2017 1. CALL 001 is officially cancelled. Due to a restructuring of the NTS-3 program after proposal receipt, the Government has determined CALL 001 to be inconsistent with the current Space Vehicles direction for Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT). The restructuring was caused by factors external to the NTS-3 program which changed the mission focus rendering the CALL ineffective.This announcement is linked to RFI-RVKVE-NTS-3. This is a 5-year Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) with CALLS describing the research areas of interest for the Resilient Architecture for Navigation and Timing (RANT) program. This BAA approach allows for proposal submittals at a specified date and time which will be posted through the issuance of proposal call announcements (CALLS) at various times against this BAA. Periodically over the 5-year period (calculated from the baseline BAA publication date), CALLS under the BAA shall be issued to FedBizOpps (https://www.fbo.gov) and to request proposals for specific research efforts as technical topic areas are identified. These subsequent CALLS will contain specific descriptions of the research effort to be addressed, anticipated period of performance, information particular to the specific research technical topic area, and the estimated funding profile for the CALL. Each CALL will specify a proposal due date and time. Proposals received after the stated due date and time will be governed by FAR 52.215-1(c)(3) Instructions to Offerors -- Competitive Acquisition (Jan 2004). Multiple subsequent CALLS are anticipated and may be announced sequentially or concurrently in the FedBizOpps (https://www.fbo.gov/). The Government reserves the right to re-issue a previously announced CALL area(s) with a second, subsequent proposal period. The Government also reserves the right to issue no CALLS.
Looking at Air Force FY19 budget documents seems to indicate that NTS-3 is still alive and under development. See PE 1206601F, 628809 / Spacecraft Vehicle Technologies. Part of the FY19 work includes"Refine on-orbit experiment plan and mission objectives to align with payload development progress, and continue developing data requirements and risk management plan for space-based integrated demonstration of an advanced Global Positioning System payload for contested environments."[/i]From FY19 budget PE 1203265F / GPS III Space Segment:Space Modernization Initiative (SMI) focuses on space vehicle affordability and capability, addresses future requirements and resiliency needs, and expands the industrial base supply. The Air Force (AF) is using its research laboratories to mature an On-Orbit Reprogrammable Digital Waveform Generator (ORDWG) which will provide signal flexibility to change the signal form while the satellite is on-orbit. This effort will be funded with Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Science & Technology (S&T) funding and PE 1203265F to increase the number of alternate navigation payloads and inform future PNT architectures.Bottom line, it appears NTS-3 is still alive and on a path to launch beyond 2019. However no info on contracts.
Interesting looking spacecraft.
Navigation Technology Satellite – 3: A Vanguard for Space-based Position, Navigation, and TimingAbstract: Navigation Technology Satellite – 3 (NTS-3) is an advanced satellite navigation flight experiment of the Air Force Research Laboratory that will mature next generation technologies across space, ground control, and user equipment segments. In August 2019, NTS-3 was designated an U.S. Air Force Vanguard program highlighting the importance of rapid advancement of space-based Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) and transition to the U.S. Air Force. As a unique testbed in geosynchronous orbit, NTS-3 will enable experimentation with multiple integrated advanced technologies and development of new operational concepts. These technologies include a reprogrammable signal generator, an electronically scanned array, flexible and secure signals, increased automation, and use of commercial command and control assets. Technologies matured and knowledge gained from NTS-3 are expected to transition to future generations of GPS constellations.https://doi.org/10.33012/2021.17844
Quote from: beidou on 03/26/2021 05:20 pmNavigation Technology Satellite – 3: A Vanguard for Space-based Position, Navigation, and TimingAbstract: Navigation Technology Satellite – 3 (NTS-3) is an advanced satellite navigation flight experiment of the Air Force Research Laboratory that will mature next generation technologies across space, ground control, and user equipment segments. In August 2019, NTS-3 was designated an U.S. Air Force Vanguard program highlighting the importance of rapid advancement of space-based Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) and transition to the U.S. Air Force. As a unique testbed in geosynchronous orbit, NTS-3 will enable experimentation with multiple integrated advanced technologies and development of new operational concepts. These technologies include a reprogrammable signal generator, an electronically scanned array, flexible and secure signals, increased automation, and use of commercial command and control assets. Technologies matured and knowledge gained from NTS-3 are expected to transition to future generations of GPS constellations.https://doi.org/10.33012/2021.17844so what is the Vanguard mission number.
https://spacenews.com/air-force-nts-3-navigation-satellite-to-launch-in-2023/https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2021/04/28/launch-of-the-militarys-experimental-navigation-satellite-pushed-back-to-2023/Delayed to 2023.
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate over the next three years hopes to launch big-ticket military experiments, including a GPS-like navigation satellite, a solar power spacecraft and a deep-space mission to monitor regions around the moon.An $84 million experiment scheduled to launch in mid to late 2023 is the Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3), which will fly to a geostationary Earth orbit to augment the positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) services provided by GPS satellites.