Next generation MUOS-2 military satellite communication to launch in July

Following a successful MUOS-1 satellite launch in February 2012, the next generation MUOS-2 is expected to launch on July 19. MUOS is a narrowband military satellite communications system that provides global communications to the warfighter in the ultra-high frequency spectrum and will significantly enhance communications for U.S. forces on the move.

“MUOS is designed to support the unified commands, the Joint Task components as well as the DOD, non-DOD and allied agencies,” said Cmdr. Jeff King, systems engineer for the Navy Communications Satellite Program Office, at the February launch. MUOS users will receive a higher data rate and higher operational availably, providing approximately 10 times more system capacity over the current UFO constellation. Cmdr. King added that MUOS does so by “bringing the latest mobile technology such as simultaneous voice, video and data as well as improved services to the legacy users of the current system.”

The core of the MILSATCOM system also includes four strategic ground stations across the world. “The ground stations are responsible for transporting the data as well as managing the network and configuring and controlling the satellites,” Cmdr. King said.

From its height on orbit, a MUOS satellite can see about one-third of the Earth’s surface. There will be four satellites, plus a spare fifth, on orbit. MUOS-1 is the first in the constellation and full operational capacity is expected by 2016.

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