U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) has accepted the first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for initial operational use.
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 (NAVSOC) at Point Mugu, Calif., began "flying" the satellite in June.
In addition to providing continuous communication for all branches of the U.S. military, Navy delivered space-based narrowband capability that MUOS provides the system also ensures reliable worldwide coverage for national emergency assistance, disaster response, and humanitarian relief.
"Whether it's in vehicles, on ships, in submarines, in aircraft, or simply carried by service members who are dismounted from vehicles and on the move, this system was designed to bring them voice and data communication services, both in point-to-point mode and through networked communications. Those capabilities have not existed with previous programs," said Navy Capt. Paul Ghyzel, the MUOS program manager at SPAWAR.
The MUOS constellation will consist of 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. The ground system transports data, manages the worldwide network and controls the satellites.
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 past 2025.