L3Harris Technologies will move to build a satellite for position, navigation and timing system demonstrations after the company passed a critical design review with the U.S. Air Force.
The Melbourne, Fla.-based defense firm can now begin the production of Navigation Technology Satellite-3 the service branch intends to launch sometime in 2022, the Air Force Research Laboratory said Thursday.
The Space Enterprise Consortium originally awarded the $84M NTS-3 production contract in late 2018 to Harris, which completed its merger with L3 Technologies last year.
AFRL has been tasked to oversee NTS-3 operations in geosynchronous orbit over a one-year period as part of a PNT signal broadcast experiment under the Vanguard program.
The U.S. Space Force, the Space and Missile Systems Center and the AF Life Cycle Management Center will support the laboratory on the mission.
L3Harris will incorporate electronically-steerable antennas, waveform generators and commercial off-the-shelf systems into the satellite.