Lockheed Martin said that the MUOS-4 satellite has been encapsulated in a protective shell that will protect it from the intense pressure and heat of the rocket launch. After the MUOS-4 payload completes tests in orbit, it will be moved to an operational orbit for active duty.
The U.S. Navy’s newest mobile communications network is one step closer to firing on all cylinders. The fourth and final satellite in the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) has been delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and it is scheduled for an August launch.
Designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the MUOS-4 satellite is the final piece of a network of satellites and relay ground stations. When it goes online, MUOS-4 will extend the network to near global coverage, according to Iris Bombelyn, vice president of narrowband communications at Lockheed Martin.
The mirror image of a modern cellular network, the MUOS system will allow soldiers to share information seamlessly while traveling beyond line-of-sight. With it, soldiers will share simultaneous voice, video, and mission data without having to consider where they are in relation to a satellite.
The MUOS network is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. The other three MUOS satellites are currently in operation as are the four associated ground stations. More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be compatible with the network. In most cases, this could be done with a software update.