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Lockheed Martin has integrated two of the most important components onto its fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for the U.S. Navy. Recently engineers mated the multi-beam assembly, which hosts 16 ultra-high frequency (UHF) antennas for distributed, global communications coverage. Earlier this year, the team delivered and integrated the vehicle’s communications system module. With bus and payload now together, the satellite is entering its first system check-outs before progressing to environmental test.
Supporting UHF satellite communications, MUOS will provide mobile warfighters with assured communications, including the new capability of simultaneous voice, video and data for mobile users.
“MUOS-4 is gleaning the benefits of the lessons learned from the first three vehicles,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Narrowband Communications mission area. “We continue to focus on reducing risk, maintaining efficient operations and delivering a flawless vehicle to our customer. Our execution on the ground is complemented by our performance on orbit, where our first satellite is already in position and performing exceptionally.”
Designed and built by Lockheed Martin in Newtown, PA, and delivered to the company's facilities in Sunnyvale, CA, the antenna and system module enable communications coverage using the wideband code division multiple access standard. This provides a 16-fold increase over legacy UHF communications in the number and capacity of satellite links.
The first MUOS satellite and associated ground system already provide legacy UHF communications capability. The second MUOS satellite recently completed system testing and is undergoing final preparations for shipping, then launch in July. The third spacecraft is progressing through environmental testing. The five-satellite, global constellation is planned to achieve full operational capability in 2016.
Lockheed Martin is under contract to deliver four MUOS satellites plus a spare and the associated ground system to the U.S. Navy. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale 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, CA, are responsible for the MUOS program.