Source: Lockheed Martin
The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) are ready to launch the fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) secure communications satellite, MUOS-5, here on Friday, June 24, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The launch window is between 10:30 a.m. and 11:14 a.m. EDT.
Watch the launch live:
• A live launch webcast at www.ulalaunch.com will begin Friday June 24th at 10:10 a.m. EDT.
For the Navy, MUOS-5 completes a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces. Users with MUOS terminals will be able to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the Global Information Grid, as well as into the Defense Switching Network. MUOS’ capabilities include simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data over a secure high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.
MUOS Key Features
• Worldwide Network Coverage: MUOS users will be able to talk, text and transfer data with other MUOS users almost anywhere around the world. The current technology only allows users to “talk” if they are “under” the same satellite.
• Greatly Improved Audio Quality: MUOS provides secure, conversational and recognizable voice quality audio.
• Global Military Cellular Network: MUOS provides simultaneous voice and data transmissions (Multi-RAB) – meaning users can talk and transfer imagery, video and mission data at the same time over a high-speed IP system.
• Beyond Line-of-Site: Users can connect globally with other users and are not limited to communicating only by voice within the coverage footprint of one overhead satellite. MUOS can also route and retransmit other line-of site radio networks.
• Near Global Coverage: Four on-orbit satellites and four associated relay ground stations allow users to connect with any other MUOS terminal user around the world.
• Better Connectivity: The WCDMA advanced waveform improves connectivity in stressed environments, including naturally scintillated, double canopy forested, mountainous and multi-path urban environments.
• More Access: MUOS offers 16 times the number of access points over the legacy system ensuring availability for prioritized calls while more users are on the system.
• Polar UHF Coverage: MUOS exceeded its 24/7 65° latitude ground requirement demonstrating a 24/7 capability up to 77° N and a limited timespan capability as far as 89.5° N – about 30 miles from the pole – on an airborne platform during testing.
“Users of the legacy satellite communications system can ‘talk,’ but they are limited to conversations between users under the footprint of the same satellite,” explains Mark Woempner, director of Lockheed Martin’s Narrowband Communications Systems. “MUOS is a game-changer for our forces, establishing a global military cellular network through which they can reach out to each other – and exchange mission data – almost anywhere around the world.”
MUOS-5 joins a network of four already-on-orbit MUOS satellites and four operational relay ground stations, providing near-global coverage, including communications reach deep into polar regions.
Like its predecessors, the MUOS-5 satellite has two payloads to support both these new Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) waveform capabilities, as well as the legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite system. MUOS-5 will augment the constellation as a WCDMA spare, while actively supporting the legacy UHF system, currently used by many mobile forces today.
Once fully operational, the MUOS network will provide users with 16 times more communications capacity than the legacy system it will eventually replace. More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible, with many of them requiring just a software upgrade.