The fifth Mobile User Objective Systemsatellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy was encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing on June 4. It is scheduled to launch June 24 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
MUOS-5 is the latest addition to a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces. Users with MUOS terminals will be able to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the Global Information Grid. MUOS’ capabilities include simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data over a secure high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.
“Like its predecessors, MUOS-5 has two payloads to support both these new Wideband Code Division Multiple Access waveform capabilities, as well as the legacy Ultra High Frequency satellite system, used by many mobile forces today,” said Mark Woempner, program director of Lockheed Martin’s Narrowband Communications mission area. “On orbit, MUOS-5 will augment the constellation as a WCDMA spare, while actively supporting the legacy UHF system.”
The MUOS-5 satellite joins four MUOS satellites already on orbit and four operational ground stations, providing near-global coverage including communications deep into polar regions. More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible, with many of them requiring just a software upgrade.
Once fully operational, MUOS will provide users with 16 times more communications capacity than the legacy system it will eventually replace.
Lockheed Martin manufactured MUOS-5 at its Sunnyvale, California facility. In March, the satellite shipped to the Cape, where it was pre-launch processed and finally encapsulated at Astrotech Space Operations, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.
The Navy’s Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program Office, San Diego, Calif., are responsible for the MUOS program.