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SMi SmallSatellites 2020  Satellite Communications Technology

Frequency Electronics Digital Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standard (DRAFS) completes Critical Design Review for potential use on GPS IIIF satellite program

(9 January 2020 - Frequency Electronics) Frequency Electronics, Inc. (FEI) has announced its next generation Rubidium atomic clock successfully completed a Critical Design Review (CDR) by prime contractor Lockheed Martin Space for potential use on the U.S. Air Force’s GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) satellite program.

The Digital Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standard (DRAFS) clock is an evolution of previous generation Rubidium atomic clocks designed for space applications. The DRAFS clock leverages technology developed by FEI and currently in operation on several government satellites. The successful CDR allows the new DRAFS clock to move forward into fabrication and testing to verify performance.

In February 2019, Lockheed Martin Space awarded FEI a contract now valued at about $7 million for the qualification of the company’s DRAFS for potential use on the new GPS IIIF satellites. The risk reduction effort also helps secure the industrial base for high-accuracy GPS satellite atomic clocks.

The Air Force’s GPS IIIF satellites will add new capabilities, technology and resiliency to the next-generation GPS III satellites currently in production and launching to help modernize today’s GPS satellite constellation. Up to 22 GPS IIIF satellites are expected to be ordered. More than 4 billion military, commercial and civilian users utilize GPS every day.

Stanton Sloane, FEI CEO added, “We are very pleased to have completed this critical milestone with Lockheed Martin Space and look forward now to completing fabrication and qualification of the DRAFS clocks.”

About Frequency Electronics

Frequency Electronics, Inc. is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of high precision timing, frequency control and synchronization products for space and terrestrial applications. Frequency’s products are used in satellite payloads and in other government, military and commercial, systems including C4ISR, EW, missiles, UAVs, aircraft, secure communications, energy exploration and wireline and wireless communication networks. With over one thousand systems delivered to defense department and commercial customers, Frequency has received more than 100 awards for excellence in providing high performance electronic assemblies for over 150 space and DOD programs. The Company invests significant resources in research and development to expand its capabilities and markets.