Completion of this major program milestone validates performance in a simulated space environment and clears the satellite for final integrated system test.
“With the completion of environmental testing, the MUOS team has illustrated its continued focus on successful program execution and mission success,” said Lockheed Martin’s Global Communications Systems vice president and general manager, Kevin Bilger. “The first MUOS satellite is on-orbit and poised to provide significantly improved communications capabilities for the mobile warfighter. This team looks forward to expanding MUOS capabilities with the launch of the second satellite in the constellation.”
Conducted inside Lockheed Martin’s Dual Entry Large Thermal Altitude chamber, the MUOS-2 satellite was stressed at extreme hot and cold temperatures, simulating the environments the satellite will experience throughout its mission life. The extensive test-like-you-fly process validates the satellite’s overall design and survivability during launch and on-orbit operations.
“Building on the success of the first MUOS satellite, the team completed this critical test phase efficiently and affordably to support our customer’s launch schedule,” said Mark Pasquale, Lockheed Martin vice president and MUOS program manager. “Our team is on track to successfully complete final satellite integration and test this fall.”
The five-satellite MUOS constellation will revolutionize military Ultra High Frequency satellite communications by introducing new capabilities to mobile warfighters throughout the world.
The first MUOS satellite launched Feb. 24, 2012, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and is progressing steadily with on-orbit checkout. The wideband code division multiple access payload provides 16 times the capacity over the existing system, including global connectivity through the Defense Information Systems Network and support services such as full two-way voice and data transfers. The Lockheed Martin-led team is completing satellite validation in preparation for customer handover in June.
The first MUOS satellite and associated ground system will provide initial on-orbit capability this year, followed by the launch of the second spacecraft in 2013. The five-satellite global constellation is expected to achieve full operational capability in 2015, extending UHF narrowband communications availability to the armed forces well past 2025.
The MUOS constellation replaces the legacy Ultra High Frequency Follow-On system and provides significantly improved assured communications for mobile warfighters. A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire UFO constellation of 8 satellites. Each MUOS satellite also includes a legacy UHF payload that is fully compatible with the current UFO system and legacy terminals. This dual-payload design ensures a smooth transition to the cutting-edge MUOS technology while the UFO system is phased out.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the MUOS prime contractor and system integrator. The Navy’s Program Executive Office for Space Systems, Chantilly, Va., and its Communications Satellite Program Office, San Diego, Calif., are responsible for the MUOS program.