Satellite Technology Feature Article
Lockheed Martin: Second U.S. Navy Satellite Ready for Launch
By Nick Ruble, TMCnet Contributing Writer
Lockheed Martin (News - Alert) has just announced that the U.S. Navy’s second Mobile User ObjectiveSystem (MUOS) satellite has successfully made it through the testing stages and is now ready to make its voyage into orbit.
The MUOS was put through extreme temperature stress within Lockheed’s Dual Entry Large Thermal Altitude chamber to simulate the harsh environments in which it will be facing for the next few decades.
"With the completion of environmental testing, the MUOS team has illustrated its continued focus on successful program execution and mission success. The first MUOS satellite is on-orbit and poised to provide significantly improved communications capabilities for the mobile warfighter,” announced Kevin Bilger, Global Communications Systems (News - Alert) vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin. “This team looks forward to expanding MUOS capabilities with the launch of the second satellite in the constellation,” he added.
Expected to launch some time in 2013, the Navy’s second MUOS satellite will be sent into space just over a year after the launch of the first one and is expected to serve the military through 2025, though it won’t be fully operational until 2015. The plan is to establish a network of five MUOS satellites - all communicating on the military Ultra High Frequency (UHF) range, which will play a pretty big role in how the U.S. Navy goes about its daily routine.
"Building on the success of the first MUOS satellite, the team completed this critical test phase efficiently and affordably to support our customer's launch schedule. Our team is on track to successfully complete final satellite integration and test this fall," said Mark Pasquale, vice president and MUOS program manager at Lockheed Martin.
This new UHF constellation aims to replace the outdated ultra high frequency follow-on (UFO) setup which is currently in use right now. To put things into perspective, one MUOS satellite provides four times the capacity of the whole lot of eight UFO satellites - that’s a pretty big upgrade, to say the least.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman