The fifth Lockheed Martin Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for the U.S. Navy is entering its first system test faster than the previous build, now that integration is complete. Engineers and technicians recently mated its system module and core to the multi-beam assembly (MBA), which hosts 16 ultra-high frequency (UHF) antennas for distributed, global communications coverage.
The MBA’s antennas beam down coverage to Earth, with each covering thousands of miles of terrain. Supporting UHF satellite communications, MUOS will provide secure mobile users with assured communications, including the new capability of simultaneous voice, video and data.
“Our fifth MUOS satellite shows strong learning curve benefits. Compared to our last build, we are approximately 20 percent ahead of schedule,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. “We are continuously improving our manufacturing, test, launch and orbit operations to best serve the U.S. Navy and users that need secure, mobile voice and data communications.”
Designed and built by Lockheed Martin, the MUOS antenna rests on an A2100 bus, also built by Lockheed Martin. Together, the system enables communications coverage using the Wideband Code Division Multiple Access standard, providing a 10-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current UHF satellite system.
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.