US Navy configures MUOS-5 payload to support UHF satellite communications


The US Navy has collaborated with Army Forces Strategic Command to configure one of the Mobile User Objective System's (MUOS-5) two communications payloads, the ultra-high frequency (UHF), to offer additional support to the navy's UHF satellite communications mission.

The MUOS-5 satellite was developed by Lockheed Martin and is currently delivering secure, beyond-line-of-sight communications to navy troops with legacy UHF radios.

MUOS has been designed with two communications payloads, with an aim to facilitate the transition of legacy narrowband UHF communications to the advanced Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) capabilities provided by the satellite.

Lockheed Martin Narrowband Communications Systems director Mark Woempner said: “Each MUOS satellite can simultaneously support both new WCDMA waveform capabilities and legacy UHF satellite communications.

“With MUOS 1-4 already on orbit providing near global WCDMA coverage, MUOS-5 will actively support legacy UHF communications and serve as an on-orbit WCDMA spare.”

MUOS-5 relays ground stations that are revolutionising communications for mobile forces, and is the latest edition of a network of orbiting satellites.

"With MUOS 1-4 already on orbit providing near global WCDMA coverage, MUOS-5 will actively support legacy UHF communications and serve as an on-orbit WCDMA spare."

The new MUOS terminal will be able to easily connect globally beyond the line of sight and into the Global Information Grid, in addition to the Defense Switched Network.

The system is capable of simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data over a secure high-speed internet protocol (IP) based system.

It will also offer sers more than ten times the communications capacity of the legacy system it will replace, once it becomes fully operational.

The MUOS network offers near-global coverage, including communications into polar regions, and has also demonstrated successful communication of integrated broadcast service (IBS) messages to in-flight test aircraft.


Image: Lockheed Martin MUOS-5 satellite. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin / Flickr.