The US Navy's second Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-2) satellite has been delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US, marking the start of launch site testing process and delivery to orbit.
Scheduled for takeoff aboard the United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle in July, the satellite will now undergo post shipment testing, propulsion system fuelling and payload fairing encapsulation, as well as final integrated testing and closeout preparations.
Lockheed Martin Narrowband Communications vice-president Iris Bombelyn said: "MUOS-2 will add on-orbit military satellite communication that is heavily in demand."
The MUOS-1 satellite is providing legacy payload voice calls at full-capacity on-orbit and has also demonstrated mobile data and voice transmissions using advanced payload.
Designed to enhance current secure mobile satellite communications, the MUOS features modern mobile-based facilities capable of providing voice, video and data simultaneously, while replacing the existing ultra high-frequency follow-on (UFO) system, which is nearing its expiry date.
The MUOS narrowband satellite communication system constellation comprises four satellites and an on-orbit spare, in addition to four ground stations, to provide users with worldwide coverage and the ability to connect anywhere around the world.
The full suite of MUOS features will be available as new terminals to users in the field, following operational deployment of MUOS-2 and certification of ground stations and terminals.
Lockheed is the prime contractor and system integrator, while the US Navy's Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program Office is responsible for the MUOS programme.
The full operational capability of the MUOS constellation is scheduled to be achieved in 2015 and will extend narrowband availability beyond 2025.
Image: An artist's impression of the US Navy's MUOS satellite. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.