[SatNews] The testing is done, they passed muster, and now the U.S. Navy takes on three of them.
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has completed on-orbit testing of the second Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite and handed over spacecraft operations to the U.S. Navy. The handover also includes acceptance of three MUOS ground stations that will relay voice and high-speed data signals for mobile users worldwide.
MUOS-2 was launched July 19, 2013 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The system dramatically improves secure communications, delivering simultaneous and prioritized voice, video and data for the first time to users on the move.
“MUOS-2 benefits from continuous improvement. We completed our baseline on-orbit testing in half the time compared to MUOS-1,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. “We look forward to supporting the Navy’s test and evaluation phase to demonstrate the total capability of the Mobile User Objective System. When commissioned, the full digital data and flexible network management capabilities will be available to users for both MUOS-1 and MUOS-2.”
The Naval Satellite Operations Center will soon begin relocation operations to place MUOS-2 in its operational slot. There, it will undergo testing and evaluation prior to formal government commissioning in 2014.
MUOS satellites are equipped with a wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) payload that provides a 10-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite system, which is also on board. The WCDMA payload gives users the advantage of high-speed data and priority access that legacy systems did not.
Lockheed Martin's MUOS operations team conducted the on-orbit deployment and checkout of all spacecraft systems over a 4 month period. The spacecraft systems and integrated ground and network systems were evaluated with three radio access facilities and new MUOS-compatible terminals. A growing number of terminals are taking advantage of the MUOS advantage since first connections with the advanced waveform began earlier this year.
Government testing will take place before MUOS-2 is turned over to U.S. Strategic Command for operational use.