Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites leverage smartphone technology to elevate military communications to next-generation levels. While the satellites still launch periodically, General Dynamics continues to test radios that will help drive secured communications to warfighters at the tactical edge. In fact, at the MUOS test facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company recently completed testing of a four-channel digital modular radio (DMR).
DMRs are currently used as the U.S. Navy’s networking radios, operating on Navy vessels and on-shore locations. In conjunction with MUOS satellites and ground station simulators, voice calls and data transmission were successfully completed to and from the DMR to an Army AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radio. Expectations are the DMRs will help improve functionality and interoperability while paving the way for next-generation communications waveforms, including MUOS and the Integrated Waveform.
DMR was the first software-defined radio used by the U.S. military, with 500 secure four-channel radios currently supporting Navy operations. Its digital functionality and open architecture enables updates to be completed via software, as opposed to hardware changes, keeping the radios operationally current and capable of upgrades to waveforms that as of now don’t even exist.