MUSO Satellite to Increase Warfighters’ Video, Data

The unit is scheduled for launch in February 2012.
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The U.S. Navy has accepted from Lockheed Martin delivery of its first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite, which is a narrowband tactical satellite communications system for improved military communications including video and data.

Scheduled for launch in February 2012, the “MUOS will greatly enhance the capabilities of the warfighter to communicate on the move,” said Mark Pasquale, a Lockheed Martin vice president and MUOS program manager. “The system will provide military users 16 times the communications capacity of existing satellites, including simultaneous voice, video and data capability enhancements and we look forward to achieving mission success for our customer,” he said.

The MUOS is made up of four geostationary Earth orbit satellites, as well as an additional on-orbit spare, and the system has a fiber-optic terrestrial network that links the satellites to four ground stations, according to Lockheed.

Each satellite has two payloads enabling integration with the existing architecture while upgrading military users to the new wideband code division multiple access system, the company says. Warfighters will gain point-to-point and netted communications services at enhanced data rates, on-demand voice, video and data transfer, Lockheed says.

Technicians are to perform post-shipment testing and payload integration at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida before the satellite is placed atop an Atlas V launch vehicle, the firm says.