Fifth Launch Completes Satellite Completes U.S. Navy’s Global Military Cellular Network

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The 7.5 ton MOUS satellite is based on Lockheed Martin's A2100 satellite bus powered by with two five-panel solar array wings. Its dual payload comprises the WDCMA and legacy channels, using 14 and 5 meter diameter reflecting mesh antennae. Image: Lockheed Martin

The US Navy’s fifth and last Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite was launched June 24, 2016, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. MUOS is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based system designed to provide improved communications capabilities to users around the world, regardless of where they are in relation to a satellite, and will provide greater than ten times the bandwidth capacity compared with the current ultra-high frequency (UHF) constellation. With near global coverage, the MOUS network will support remote computer access, e-mail, short digital messaging, file and image transfer, and provide an interface for remote reception of sensor data.

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MUOS offers 16 times the number of access points over the legacy system ensuring availability for prioritized calls while more users are on the system. once fully operational, the demand for MUOS is expected to grow rapidly. While more MUOS-compatible terminals are in development, over 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible, with many of them requiring just a software upgrade.

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