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MUOS Mobile User Objective System
Mobile User Object System (MUOS)
MUOS includes the satellite constellation, a ground control and network management system, and a new waveform for user terminals. The space portion is comprised of a constellation of four geosynchronous satellites, plus one on-orbit spare. The ground system includes the transport, network management, satellite control, and associated infrastructure to both fly the satellites and manage the user’s communications. MUOS and these newer terminals are designed to support users that require greater mobility, higher data rates, and improved operation availability. The new waveform is termed the MUOS Common Air Interface (CAI), a Software Communications Architecture compliant modulations technique for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) terminals. The MUOS CAI waveform will be available to the Services for porting to JTRS terminals in late 2008. The first MUOS satellite is scheduled to provide an On-Orbit Capability in March 2010. MUOS achieves Full Operational Capability in 2014.
The network management will feature a government controlled, priority-based resource management capability that will be adaptable and responsive to changing operational communication requirements. Additionally, MUOS will provide access to select Defense Information System Network services, a voice and data capability that has not been available to UHF MILSATCOM users on prior systems. For satellite telemetry, tracking and command, MUOS will use the existing control system operated by the NavalSatelliteOperationsCenter at Pt. Mugu, California with the Air Force Satellite Control Network as a back-up.
When MUOS is fielded it will serve a mixed terminal population. Some users will have terminals only able to support the legacy waveforms while other users will have newer terminal able to support the MUOS CAI. In anticipation of this, each MUOS satellite carries a legacy payload similar to that flown on UFO-11. These legacy payloads will continue to support legacy terminals, allowing for a more gradual transition to the MUOS WCDMA waveform.
MUOS program acquisition strategy was structured to deliver the best value systems that meet operational requirements utilizing a full and open competition. The concept Exploration phase, completed in July 2001, consisted of six industry teams of commercial and Department of Defense (DoD) contractors who proposed various system concepts and architectures to meet the stringent MUOS requirements. This was followed by the Component Advanced Development in which two contractor teams conducted system risk reduction and architecture refinement.
This phase was successfully concluded in September 2004 with a single contract awarded to Lockheed Martin Space Systems Sunnyvale, California for the Preliminary Design, Complete Design, Build and Operation acquisition phases.
Team members include General Dynamics, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. MUOS has recently completed its Preliminary Design Review and it beginning the detailed design effort. All the operational satellites and the on-orbit spare will be launched aboard Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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