General Dynamics Mission Systems Plays Leading Role in Delivering MUOS Capability
The U.S. military will benefit from an enhanced global tactical communications capability thanks to the successful deployment of the fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite launched early this morning from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The satellite is the last one needed to complete the MUOS Earth-orbiting constellation. After the new satellite joins the MUOS constellation, four satellites will be in geosynchronous orbit around the Earth.
Later this year, a Multi-service Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E) will use two of the satellites to route radio calls through at least two ground stations that were built by General Dynamics. The test calls will evaluate if the MUOS Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) communications capability is ready for operational use by the military.
WCDMA is similar to the technology used in smartphones and will provide the voice clarity and connection speeds civilians experience using their smartphones. It also provides a 16-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite system. The radio calls using the MUOS communications network will be the go-to secure high-speed communications system for forces on the move around the world.
The radio terminals used by military personnel and ground system network portions of MUOS were designed and built by General Dynamics Mission Systems. The PRC-155 Manpack radio is the first military radio to successfully connect with the MUOS network and is currently the only MUOS program of record radio. The four ground segment systems located in Australia, Hawaii, Virginia and Europe, connect users on the ground with the MUOS satellites and route the calls, just like a commercial cellphone tower routes your call from home to friends across the street or around the world. The ground system also provides control and management of each of the satellites.
The launch of the fourth satellite and the upcoming MOT&E testing later this year are significant achievements for our military forces to stay in touch with one another better than ever before. It is also a tremendous source of pride for our employees who have worked long and hard to get to this historic point in story of the MUOS space-ground communication network , said Manny Mora, vice president and general manager of Space and Intelligence Systems for General Dynamics Mission Systems.
Because of support from General Dynamics and with the successful launch of the latest satellite, MUOS is now one step closer to providing its full operational capability of beyond line-of-sight communications not just to warfighters, but also in support of disaster relief and humanitarian efforts around the globe.