Published: Sept. 28, 2021 By

Watch a timelapse video of the satellite mockup's installation in late June.

Flickr Gallery of the Dedication Ceremony

A special 1/3 scale GPS IIIF satellite mockup built by Lockheed Martin has been dedicated in the University of Colorado Boulder Aerospace Building.

CU Boulder and Lockheed Martin officials held a ceremony Friday, Sept. 24 to mark the installation of the satellite, which is suspended from the 4th floor overlook of the Aerospace Building.

The formal program included:

  • Brian Argrow, Chair, Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
  • Terri Fiez, Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation 
  • Tonya Ladwig, Navigation Systems Mission Area Vice President, Lockheed Martin
  • Keith Molenaar, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Johnathon Caldwell, Business Innovation, Transformation and Enterprise Excellence Vice President, Lockheed Martin
  • Scott Thomas, Program Manager for GPSIII, Space Systems Command

Speakers at the event emphasized the importance of GPS technology for commercial, military, and civilian uses and stated their desire for the model to be an inspiration for students.

"The aviation, agriculture, construction and ride-share industries are dependent on GPS. If you used car navigation, made a bank transaction, or tracked your workout distance on a smart watch today – you used GPS. It is not really a question of if you used GPS today, instead ask yourself, how many times did you use GPS today," Ladwig said, in prepared remarks.

The full-sized GPS IIIF is the upgraded follow-on for the third-generation global positioning system satellite. Designed and built by Lockheed Martin, the GPS III first launched in 2018.

It is the most powerful GPS satellite created to date, with increased accuracy and anti-jamming capabilities. This new GPSIIIF is the follow-on design that incorporates a flexible technology architecture with a fully digital navigation system, accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, regional military protection capability, and a search-and-rescue payload.

Ceremony Photos

Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences Chair Brian Argrow addressing the attendees.

The satellite model and interpretative plaque.

Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems Mission Area Vice President Tonya Ladwig discussing the GPS IIIF system.