First MUOS satellite begins limited operations

The U.S. Strategic Command has accepted the first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for initial operational use, the Navy said Nov. 21.
MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical communications system designed to improve communications for U.S. forces on the move. The Naval Satellite Operations Center at Point Mugu, Calif., began controlling the spacecraft in June.

The Navy is responsible for providing narrowband satellite communication for the Defense Department. U.S. Fleet Cyber Command is assigned to serve as the Navy Component Command to USSTRATCOM for space, cyberspace and information operations.

The MUOS constellation will comprise four satellites and an on-orbit spare. The system also includes four ground stations strategically located around the globe, which provide worldwide coverage and the ability to connect users wherever they are deployed. The ground system transports data, manages the worldwide network and controls the satellites.

MUOS is designed to allow warfighters to move around the battlespace while communicating and send data at 10 times existing capacity.
After the launch of the second satellite, projected for July 2013, MUOS will provide military users simultaneous voice, video and data capability by leveraging 3G mobile communications technology.
The MUOS constellation is expected to achieve full operational capability in 2015, extending narrowband availability well beyond 2025.



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