US Navy’s first MUOS satellite successfully launched

28 February 2012 (Last Updated February 28th, 2012 04:30)

The US Navy's first Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System satellite (MOUS) has been successfully launched onboard an Atlas V launch vehicle at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US.

MUOS-1

The US Navy's first Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System satellite (MOUS) has been successfully launched onboard an Atlas V launch vehicle at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US.

The MUOS satellite is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system, which will provide enhanced communications for combatants while on the move.

MUOS will replace the existing ultra-high-frequency follow-on (UFO) system to provide assured communications and future narrowband tactical satellite communications and the latest mobile technology.

The system will operate as a global cellular service provider to provide the warfighter with modern cell phone-like capabilities to communicate directly with each other and their commanders virtually anywhere in the world.

MUOS systems engineer Navy Commander Jeff King said that the satellite will undergo initial testing in a temporary orbital slot and will spend the next several months in its geostationary orbit for evaluation by the team before operational use.

The satellite is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system, which will provide enhanced communications for combatants while on the move.

The system includes a fibre-optic terrestrial network connecting four ground stations around the globe and four geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellites with an additional on-orbit spare.

MUOS will replace the existing ultra-high-frequency follow-on (UFO) system to provide assured communications and future narrowband tactical satellite communications and the latest mobile technology.

The new capability ensures users receive the required technological advancements during necessary system upgrades by supporting legacy UHF Satcom terminals and joint tactical radio system terminals.

The first MUOS satellite is expected to achieve initial operational capability in summer 2012.

The second MUOS space vehicle is currently undergoing environmental testing to ensure its performance in a simulated space environment, while the third and fourth MUOS satellites are in production stages.

The MUOS constellation is scheduled to achieve full operational capability in 2015 while extending narrowband availability beyond 2025.

Image: US Navy's first Mobile User Objective System satellite (MOUS) launched onboard an Atlas V launch vehicle. Photo: Lockheed Martin.