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12:17 PM, January 21, 2015
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The US Navy’s third MUOS Secure Communications Satellite built by Lockheed Martin has been responding to commands after the launch yesterday.

The MUOS satellite constellation operates like a smart phone network in the sky, vastly improving current secure mobile satellite communications for warfighters on the move.

MUOS provides users an on-demand, beyond-line-of-sight capability to transmit and receive high-quality, prioritized voice and mission data, on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.

"Thanks to the Atlas team for the safe delivery of MUOS-3 into our Geosynchronous Transfer orbit", said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin.

"We look forward to completing our on-orbit health checks and delivering this important asset to the U.S. Navy. The addition of this satellite will give the MUOS constellation coverage over more than three-quarters of the globe, further extending the reach of the advanced communications capabilities MUOS will provide our mobile warfighters."

MUOS-3 was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and will transition over the next nine days to reach its geosynchronous orbit location 22,000 miles above the Earth.

The solar arrays and antennas will then be deployed, and on-orbit testing will start for subsequent turn-over to the Navy for test and commissioning to service.

MUOS is the Navy's next generation secure mobile satellite communications system which will eventually replace the legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Follow-On system. MUOS satellites have two payloads to ensure access to UHF narrowband communications as well as new capabilities.

MUOS' advanced Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) payload incorporates commercial technology and a new waveform to provide users priority-based capacity.

Once fully operational, MUOS will provide 16 times the capacity of the legacy system. More than 50,000 terminals that are in the field can be retro-fitted with WCDMA.

The MUOS constellation is expected to provide warfighters full global coverage before the end of 2015. MUOS-1 and MUOS-2, launched respectively in 2012 and 2013, are already operational and providing high-quality voice communications.

MUOS-4 is on track to launch later this year. The fourth and final required MUOS ground station also is expected to be delivered to the Navy early this year.

 

 

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