Counting Down: Navy's Latest Communication
Satellite Ready for Launch
By Steven A. Davis, Space and Naval Warfare Systems
Command Public Affairs.
Cape Canaveral Air Foce Station, Florida – (NNS)
– August 28, 2015 – The Navy's fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite is awaiting
countdown for Wednesday, Sept. 2. A live launch broadcast will be viewable as an online webcast at
The U.S. Navy's
fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite, encapsulated in a 5-meter
payload fairing, is mated to an Atlas V booster inside the Vertical Integration
Facility at Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex-41. The launch is scheduled
for Aug. 31, 2015. MUOS is a next-generation narrow band tactical satellite
communications system designed to significantly improve beyond-line-of-sight
communications for U.S. forces on the move.
MUOS works like a smartphone network in space, vastly improving secure
satellite communications for mobile U.S. forces. MUOS provides users a global,
on-demand, beyond-line-of-sight capability to transmit and receive high-quality
voice and mission data on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.
Photo courtesy United Launch Alliance
"There are three critical points for the MUOS program today," explained Navy
Capt. Joe Kan, program manager for the Communications Satellite Program Office.
"First is that it's operational, supporting the warfighter every day. Second, it
brings enhanced capabilities over the legacy system.
Third, it is critical for
the tactical warfighter."
MUOS is already providing legacy communications to combatant commanders via
active satellites on-orbit. MUOS' new Wideband Code Division Multiple Access
capability has been demonstrated in various environments, platforms and
applications such as integration testing with the newest submarine antennas,
Navy special operations scenario exercises and Air Force C-17 in-flight tests.
"MUOS will be used by all services. For example, the Army will extend
satellite communication to their individual soldiers. The special operations
forces will use MUOS for all their missions. And the Navy uses MUOS in
particular for submarine communications," said Kan.
MUOS provides satellite communications in the narrowband spectrum. Although
narrowband communication is less than 2 percent of total Department of Defense
bandwidth, it represents more than 50 percent of all DoD satellite communication
users. In addition to ad-hoc situations such as disaster response, narrowband
represents the majority of communications for SEAL teams.
Two MUOS satellites, launched in 2012 and 2013, are already providing legacy
communications capability from their geosynchronous orbits over the Pacific
Ocean and the United States.
MUOS-3, launched in January, was accepted by the Navy in June after on-orbit
testing. The third satellite is awaiting final testing before being accepted for
Ultimately, the constellation and associated network will extend narrowband
communications availability well past 2025.
MUOS 2 satellite is mated to an Atlas V
rocket at Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station
The Navy's Program Executive Office for Space Systems, located at the Space
and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego, is responsible for the MUOS
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