Science and Technology News

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wing supports 4th Mobile User Objective System satellite launch

by 45th Space Wing
Public Affairs

9/2/2015 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  -- The U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing helped successfully launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 40, at 6:18 a.m. EDT, Sept. 2, 2015.

"Here at the 45th we measure success one launch at a time," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th SW commander. "With this being my first launch as the 45th SW Commander, I can tell you the road to achieving that success is no small task. It takes a blended team of military, civilian and contracted professionals driving toward the same objective of getting that rocket into space. I am proud of the hard work our team put into today's launch and it goes without saying that there's nothing more exciting than being a part of a team that provides assured access to space...that's our charge. We did it today, we'll do it tomorrow and there's nothing quite like it. Great work team."

The U.S. Navy-delivered MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system, built by Lockheed Martin, designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move. The system will undergo Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation beginning this December and will achieve Full Operational Capability in 2017.

According to the U.S. Navy's Communications Satellite Program Office, MUOS works like a smartphone network in space, vastly improving secure satellite communications for mobile U.S. forces. MUOS provides users a global, on-demand, beyond-line-of-sight capability to transmit and receive high-quality voice and mission data on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.

"Delivery of this fourth satellite for the U.S. Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network," said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. "For our mobile forces, that means for the first time they will be able to have secure, high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone around the world connected with a MUOS terminal."

MUOS is supported by the Army's Project Manager for Tactical Radios. According to the U.S. Army, MUOS will use Earth-orbiting satellites as the equivalent of cell phone towers in space and will connect U.S. forces on ships, in submarines, aircraft, and vehicles. It provides the vital link between troops in advanced positions or remote areas and the rest of the Department of Defense military global network.

Prior to the successful launch of MUOS-4, the 45th SW supported the MUOS-1, MUOS-2 and MUOS-3 launch respectively in 2012, 2013 and 2015 from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla.

Eastern Range instrumentation provides radar tracking, telemetry, communications, command/control sites, camera and optical sites, and other support capabilities such as meteorology. Instrumentation is necessary to safely and successfully conduct civil, commercial, and national security spacelift operations and ballistic missile tests and evaluation. Eastern Range assets are based on dependable designs and technology and are arrayed in a highly efficient architecture designed to ensure safety of the launch environment and the public at large.

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