For the first time, two military radios communicate with each other over the MUOS satellite network
General Dynamics' PRC-155 Manpack radio transmits calls via on-orbit MUOS satellite
- By Defense Systems Staff
- Apr 18, 2013
General Dynamics C4 Systems announced today that two AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios successfully completed secure radio-to-radio voice and data communications tests through the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite network, as part of a scheduled MUOS end-to-end system test.
Using the final version of the MUOS waveform, the two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio successfully transmitted voice and data communications to the orbiting MUOS satellite, through the MUOS ground station and back to a second PRC-155 Manpack radio. This is the first time that any military radio has communicated with the MUOS space-ground network, according to GDC4.
“The PRC-155 is the only government-owned, off-the-shelf radio to demonstrate this capability,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems, in a company statement. “Using the same cell phone technology that powers commercial smartphones, military and government personnel can make secure calls and exchange critical information from anywhere in the world.”
Lockheed Martin builds the MUOS satellites, and also commented on the milestone. “This first data call demonstrates the MUOS system capability for users who have up to now lacked secure data on the move,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of narrowband communications at Lockheed Martin, in a press statement. “The Manpack radio is the first of many terminal types that we know are waiting to connect to the MUOS network. Over 20,000 existing terminals are preparing to follow, making MUOS a ready and affordable solution to getting secure voice, data and video to mobile users.”
The PRC-155 Manpack radios also demonstrated the capability that allows soldiers to network their communications using the MUOS system, whether they be on foot, or in vehicles, ships, submarines or aircraft.
The radios used during the MUOS test were among the first delivered to the Army through a contract to produce more than 3,800 PRC-155 Manpack radios.
The General Dynamics-developed, non-proprietary MUOS waveform used for the test delivers high-speed voice and data communications at 16-times greater capacity than the military’s current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications system, according to the company.
The PRC-155 radio is part of the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) family of radios. In addition to running the MUOS waveform, the Manpack radio also uses the Soldier Radio Waveform, the Wideband Networking Waveform and the legacy SINCGARS waveform.