Lockheed delivers MUOS waveform for next-gen secure comms

Lockheed Martin has finished building the software waveform that is essential to the operation of the Navy's next-generation, geosynchronous communications satellite system, the company said Jan. 8.

The new waveform will enable military satellite communications terminal providers to deploy equipment that takes full advantage of enhanced capabilities for the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS).

MUOS is intended primarily for mobile and remote users on the move and will address the needs of U.S. forces in aerial and maritime platforms and ground vehicles, as well as dismounted soldiers, giving them secure, high-bandwidth transmission capabilities for voice, video and data.

MUOS satellites are equipped with a Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) payload that provides a 16-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite system.

Lockheed Martin tailored a previously commercial waveform to be used with the new WCDMA payload. The U.S. government has made the waveform available for military satellite communications terminal providers through the Joint Tactical Networking Center Information Repository, and contractors can now integrate the waveform into their MUOS-compatible terminals to provide WCDMA capabilities for users.
The first MUOS satellite, which was launched into space in February 2012, and its associated ground system already provide initial on-orbit capability. When the second MUOS satellite is launched in July 2013 and completes on-orbit testing and check-out with the MUOS ground system and a HMS Manpack terminal certified with the MUOS waveform, the system will provide full WCDMA capability to users.

Lockheed Martin is under contract to deliver five MUOS satellites and the associated ground systems to the Navy.


About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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