CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy's fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite is awaiting countdown for Wednesday, Sept. 2.
A live launch broadcast will be viewable as an online webcast at www.ulalaunch.com.
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.
"There are three critical points for the MUOS program today," explained Navy Capt. Joe Kan, program manager for the Communications Satellite Program Office. "First is that it's operational, supporting the warfighter every day. Second, it brings enhanced capabilities over the legacy system. Third, it is critical for the tactical warfighter."
MUOS is already providing legacy communications to combatant commanders via active satellites on-orbit. MUOS' new Wideband Code Division Multiple Access capability has been demonstrated in various environments, platforms and applications such as integration testing with the newest submarine antennas, Navy special operations scenario exercises and Air Force C-17 in-flight tests.
"MUOS will be used by all services. For example, the Army will extend satellite communication to their individual soldiers. The special operations forces will use MUOS for all their missions. And the Navy uses MUOS in particular for submarine communications," said Kan.
MUOS provides satellite communications in the narrowband spectrum. Although narrowband communication is less than 2 percent of total Department of Defense bandwidth, it represents more than 50 percent of all DoD satellite communication users. In addition to ad-hoc situations such as disaster response, narrowband represents the majority of communications for SEAL teams.
Two MUOS satellites, launched in 2012 and 2013, are already providing legacy communications capability from their geosynchronous orbits over the Pacific Ocean and the United States.
MUOS-3, launched in January, was accepted by the Navy in June after on-orbit testing. The third satellite is awaiting final testing before being accepted for operational use.
Ultimately, the constellation and associated network will extend narrowband communications availability well past 2025.
The Navy's Program Executive Office for Space Systems, located at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego, is responsible for the MUOS program.
For more news from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/spawar/.