U.S. Navy Accepts General Dynamics-built MUOS Ground Stations
U.S. Navy has accepted three General Dynamics C4 Systems-built ground
stations for the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). General Dynamics
C4 Systems led the development and delivery of the ground systems and
MUOS communications waveform; Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor
for the entire MUOS system. Navy personnel will now operate the stations.
The ground stations are a
critical part of the worldwide MUOS system, connecting government personnel
on the ground, in the air or at sea to MUOS satellites.
ground stations are located in Hawaii, Virginia and Australia. They
act like cell phone switches, receiving radio calls relayed through
MUOS satellites from service members around the globe and connecting
them to ground-based Department of Defense communication networks in
just seconds. The ground stations also assist in the overall management
and operation of the orbiting MUOS satellites.
MUOS radio calls, like those recently demonstrated in the Arctic Circle,
use the General Dynamics-developed MUOS waveform. The waveform leverages
the widely used commercial Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA)
cellular phone technology.
“The success in delivering these ground stations, combined with
the successful MUOS waveform running on the AN/PRC-155 Manpack two-channel
radio, are testaments to General Dynamics’ expertise in delivering
networks that securely and reliably connect military and government
personnel with their commanders and others from virtually any location
on the planet,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics
C4 Systems. “All they will need is to dial a 10-digit phone number
just like they have with their personal cell phones.”
The General Dynamics-built MUOS ground system provides communications
and control interfaces among the MUOS satellites and Defense Department
networks. Each ground station has three freestanding 18.4-meter Ka-band
antennas atop 53-foot-tall pedestals. A centralized operations and control
center manages the ground stations’ operation, providing Internet
Protocol (IP) connectivity, switching facilities, network management
and other satellite command-and-control elements.
In November two MUOS-equipped AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios
successfully completed secure voice and data calls from Alaska and the
Arctic Circle for the first time during a demonstration led by Lockheed
Martin. Using the MUOS waveform, the AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios completed
one-to-one voice and data calls as well as conference calls connecting
more than five participants. The PRC-155 Manpack radio is the first
and only tactical radio to deliver secure voice and data connectivity
with the MUOS system in polar regions.