Always great to pass a test and that's what occurred when Frequency Electronics, Inc. (“FEI” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ-FEIM) 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 that they 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.