The U.S. Army and U.S. Navy successfully tested the MUOS Satellite Network and General Dynamics MUOS-Manpack radio communications. The use of MUOS and the Manpack radio will allow units that are Beyond-Line-Of-Site (BLOS) to communicate seamlessly.

Its commonplace for people to pick up their cell phone and be able to communicate with whomever they want, wherever they might be. For soldiers on a remote battlefield, its not quite so simple. However, after recent testing of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite and a radio, which was the General Dynamics Mission Systems AN/PRC-155 two-channel MUOS-Manpack radio terminal, battlefield communication is taking another major step towards improvement. With the radio using the MUOS waveform, military personnel will be able to have secure voice and data communications sent and received immediately, much like regular cell phone service.

The Importance

Currently, there are more than 5,000 AN/PRC-155 Manpack radio terminals fielded to the U.S. Army providing secure line-of-sight and satellite communications connectivity for its personnel deployed in places where other communication networks are unreachable. With the addition of the MUOS High Power Amplifier (MHPA)and the MUOS waveform integrated within the AN/PRC-155 Manpack radio terminal, these remotely located units will be able to connect with the greater network thousands of miles away to talk, text and share large amounts of data clearly and effortlessly.

The Technology

Manpack Radio Infographic
MUOS is the U.S. Navys new satellite communications system that provides cell phone-like voice and data communications to U.S. military forces. The AN/PRC-155 Manpack radio connects U.S. Army soldiers to the Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T) and other local and wide-area military communication networks. Equipped with a field upgradable MUOS HPA (MHPA), the AN/PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack radio terminal has the radio-signal strength needed to communicate with the MUOS satellites in geo-synchronous orbit.

One of the primary features of the two-channel AN/PRC-155 Manpack radio is the ability to run different communication waveforms. This enables the SRW and the SINCGARS to run simultaneously with the MUOS waveform, which acts as the digital dial-tone to connect and communicate with the MUOS satellite system. For example, the AN/PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack radio terminal will receive a call from a tactical radio using SRW or SINCGARS on one channel, then route and retransmit the call using the second channel via the MUOS waveform, sending the call to a satellite communications network such as MUOS or other tactical communications networks.

As part of the Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Fit (HMS) family, the AN/PRC-155 Manpack is the first Army-fielded radio with the MUOS capability available today, said Mike DiBiase, a vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Mission Systems. These radios connect the new MUOS network, bridging lower-tier tactical networks like the soldier radio waveform and SINCGARS radios to the big Army network, reaching back to Army personnel located in the most austere locations.