Effectively and Rapidly Bringing MUOS to the Warfighter

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Sept. 28, 2018) – Construction Electrician 2nd Class Corinna Wentz, a communications instructor assigned to Naval Construction Group 1, conducts a demonstration of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) capability for Rear Adm. James Butler, deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, and Rear Adm. Michael Brookes, deputy commander U.S. 10th Fleet. MUOS provides secure worldwide ultra-high frequency satellite communications while the WCDMA capability upgrade adapts commercial 3G cellular technology to connect users to each other and to the DoD Information Network for voice and data communications. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Samuel Souvannason/Released)

Connectivity challenges on the battlefield can leave a warfighter in a critical state. To ensure warfighter connectivity, the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) has been implemented. By making smartphone-like capabilities available to warfighters in-theater, an undeniable strategic edge is established. The Modern Battlespace has previously covered the importance of the development and adoption of the MUOS. Because this technology’s profound impact on the defense community, we are covering different industry trends and headlines focused on the adoption and expansion of MUOS programs. Here are some of the leading stories in the industry:

Canada seeks buy-in for access to U.S. MUOS satellite system

According to an article on Space News by Caleb Henry, the Canadian military is in talks with the U.S. military to use a third satellite constellation that offers access to MUOS. At Global MilSatCom 2018, Cameron Stoltz, director of space requirements for the Canadian Armed Forces explained the nature of the agreement, stating that Canada would be paying hundreds of millions of dollars for assured access to the $7.4 billion constellation.

“One of the key points of us getting access to the MUOS is making sure that we have assured access to a certain amount of this capability,” he said. “As you can imagine, ourselves and our bosses are not interested in writing a big check and then not having some sort of guaranteed access.”

This speaks to the growing importance of MUOS in military comms strategy and the value of international partnerships regarding existing infrastructure and hardware.

Read the whole story here.

How Navy satellites give Marines smartphone-like comms

Adam Stone and C4ISRNet discusses how the Navy is working to offer the Marine Corps smartphone-like capability through the use of their MUOS satellites.

“Imagine you have technology from the 1980s and now we’re going to 3G. The voice quality is better, you get improved data rates. The warfighter will see a big difference in their ability to do command and control,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Decker, the ground radios team lead, in Stone’s article. This availability of more reliable comms for Marines in the field will offer an invaluable strategic edge in-theater.

Read the whole story here.

Collins Aerospace (formerly Rockwell Collins) awarded DoD contract for radio systems

It was recently announced that Collins Aerospace was awarded a long-term contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to supply the department with MUOS. The contract is a five-year agreement with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command. The agreement includes the delivery of sixth-generation ARC-210 RT-2036(C) radios and fifth-generation ARC-210 radios and ancillaries.

According to an article by Melina Druga in Homeland Preparedness News, Troy Brunk, Collins Aerospace vice president and general manager of Communication, Navigation and Electronic Warfare Solutions, stated, “This is the next big step in arming warfighters with next-generation communications capabilities including those available through MUOS, which brings greater overall capacity and signal quality for high reliability when it’s needed most.”

Read the whole story here.

Nanosatellites will extend communications reach for military forces

In a recent article on Military Embedded Systems, Lisa Daigle discussed the push for the Integrated Communications Extension Capability (ICE-Cap) from the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Space Systems in conjunction with developers at Space and Naval Warfare Command Systems Center Pacific. The nanosatellite will demonstrate the “ability of low-Earth-orbit satellites to extend the geographic coverage of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) and legacy UHF Follow-On (UFO) satellite constellations to the polar regions,” according to Daigle.

“The development and launch of these four nanosatellites demonstrates the Navy’s interest in leveraging the significant growth and private-sector investment in disruptive, new-space technologies aimed at driving down the costs of developing, building, launching, and operating constellations of small satellites, increasing access to space,” said Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Kocis, the assistant program manager for science and technology at PEO Space Systems, in Daigle’s article.

Read the whole story here.