The US Navy has used Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites to provide high-bandwidth military data connections in the Arctic.
During the navy’s 2014 Ice Exercise (ICEX), MUOS satellites offered approximately 150 hours of secure data connections, and megabyte data files were transferred over stable satellite connections for the first time.
Researchers from Lockheed Martin, working on top of a floating ice camp above the Arctic Circle, were able to secure satellite communications during the annual Arctic submarine exercise.
Lockheed Martin military space advanced programmes director Paul Scearce said: "Last year we proved the constellation’s reach, but this is the first time MUOS has been used for secure government exercises.
"This means users could traverse the globe using one radio, without needing to switch out because of different coverage areas.
"This goes far in increasing the value that MUOS provides [to] mobile users, not just in traditional theatres of operation, but those at the furthest extents of the planet."
MUOS offered over 8,800 minutes of service to Ice Camp Nautilus in March and enabled the US Navy users at the camp to connect to both secure and classified communication systems and transfer data files.
Lockheed Martin first demonstrated the MUOS constellation’s ability to reach arctic users in tests during 2013.
Image: MUOS satellites offered about 150 hours of secure data connections and data transferring over stable satellite connections in the Arctic for the first time. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.