US Navy’s MUOS 4 Encapsulated for August 31 Atlas 5 Launch
[Via Satellite 08-17-2015] Lockheed Martin subsidiary Astrotech Space Operations has encapsulated the U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite in its protective launch vehicle fairing ahead of an Aug. 31 launch aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from United Launch Alliance (ULA).
Built by Lockheed Martin, MUOS 4 completes the Navy’s initial constellation, providing near-global coverage. The improved satellite communications system is compatible with the legacy ultra high frequency communications satellite system it will eventually replace, and provides comparatively 16 times its capacity.
The MUOS 1, MUOS 2 and MUOS 3 satellites launched in 2012, 2013 and January 2015, respectively. All four required MUOS ground stations are complete, and MUOS 5, an on-orbit Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) spare with additional legacy system capability, is expected to launch in 2016.
More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals are upgradable for MUOS compatibility, with many only requiring a software upgrade.