The US Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite has arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, for its scheduled launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in August this year.
Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-4 is the next satellite scheduled to join the navy’s MUOS secure communications network that comprises orbiting satellites and relay ground stations.
The operational MUOS terminals will provide users with seamless connection around the world.
Lockheed Martin narrowband communications vice-president Iris Bombelyn said: "MUOS allows troops all over the world to talk, text, and share mission data seamlessly, while travelling, like a cellular network, without having to worry about where they are in relation to a satellite.
"MUOS-4 will complete our near global coverage, reaching further north and south toward the poles than ever before."
The MUOS’ new smart phone-like capabilities include simultaneous crystal-clear voice, video, and mission data, on a high-speed internet protocol-based system.
Manufactured in Lockheed’s facility in Sunnyvale, California, MUOS-4 was shipped aboard a C-5 Galaxy aircraft for delivery.
Lockheed’s subsidiary Astrotech Space Operations will now complete MUOS-4’s pre-launch processing.
Launched in February 2012, the first MUOS satellite is already operational with the US Navy. The second MUOS satellite is currently under final preparations for its scheduled launch in July.
The third MUOS satellite is undergoing environmental testing, while the full operational capability of the MUOS constellation is scheduled to be achieved in 2016.
According to the company, more than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible.
Image: The US Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.