SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - General Dynamics C4 Systems recently mounted three 18.4-meter satellite antennas on 53-foot-tall pedestals in Wahiawa, Hawaii, as part of the preparations to deploy the new Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), the U.S. military's next-generation narrowband global mobile satellite communications system. General Dynamics, under contract to Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), has overall responsibility for the ground-based segment of the MUOS system.
The MUOS system will provide cell phone-like services to ground-based warfighters around the globe, with the satellites acting as "cell towers" in space. The system will enable users to communicate directly with each other and their commanders virtually anywhere in the world.
The Wahiawa ground station is the first of four that will be equipped with MUOS satellite antenna systems. The other MUOS ground stations will be located in Norfolk, Va.; Geraldton, Australia; and Niscemi, Italy.
"These antenna installations mark a significant milestone in the development and fielding of the MUOS Ground System," said John Weidman, vice president of National Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems. "The MUOS earth terminals utilize a state-of-the-art Ka-Band antenna designed with highly accurate auto-tracking to meet system performance and availability. The large 18.4 meter antenna design pushes the envelope of what has been fielded in this frequency band in the past."
MUOS leverages third generation (3G) Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) cellular phone technology in the implementation of the ground segment. The MUOS Ground System provides communications and controls interfaces between the MUOS satellites and U.S. Department of Defense Earth-based communication networks. It features earth-terminal infrastructure and Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity, including switching facilities, network management and satellite command-and-control elements.
Additionally, General Dynamics is developing the MUOS User Entry Terminal Waveform software library for future use by radios being developed under the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program. The company also will engineer the wireless protocol for communication between user terminals and the satellites.
General Dynamics began work in September 2004 with Lockheed Martin Space Systems (Sunnyvale, Calif.) to provide the user-entry and integrated ground segments for the MUOS system. The first MUOS satellite is scheduled for on-orbit hand-over to the U.S. Navy in 2010 along with the entire ground system.
Source: General Dynamics Completes Milestone in MUOS Defense Satellite Communications System
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