Home' Defense Systems : March 2013 Contents ing a commercial 3G wideband cellular
phone network with geosynchronous satel-
lites," Davis said.
at trait will be attractive to the many
military planners who hope to take advan-
tage of smart phones and tablets. Many
strategists want to let war ghters leverage
the rapid technological advances of these
compact handhelds so they can reduce the
load carried deep into the eld. Any reduc-
tion in antenna size will be a huge bene t
for these programs.
ough MUOS terminals will continue
the drive toward smaller electronics, users
also will see improvements in commu-
nications. Using cell phone techniques
opens the door for simultaneous transfers
of voice and data.
"It is important to note that the MUOS
waveform is full-duplex, which means users
can carry on a conversation as you would on
a cell phone, rather than [is the case with]
most legacy radios that are half-duplex,
where only one person talks and everyone
else listens," Miller said. "Our HMS PRC-
155 two-channel Manpack was built to ac-
commodate this full-duplex capability."
It will be awhile before a substantial
number of terminals make their way into
the eld. e U.S. military has deployed
more than 18,000 narrowband terminals,
according to the Communications Satellite
Program O ce.
18 MARCH 2013 | DefenseSystems.com
General Dynamics, which is shipping
the only product that has placed calls
through the entire MUOS ground infra-
structure, won't make a shipment of more
than 100 terminals until fall. at shipment
will come a er on-orbit tests in March and
a subsequent basic system checkout con-
sisting of point-to-point and point-to-net
(voice and data calls).
While the number of suppliers is limited
at this point, terminal providers are watch-
ing the evolution of the constellation and
its land-based elements. Harris RF Com-
munications plans to upgrade some of its
Falcon III radios to include the MUOS
waveform, while Raytheon is working with
the Army to redesign its ARC-231 radio so
pilots can use MUOS. Other providers are
also developing strategies.
" e challenge with our ground system
designs and services is to be exible and
work with the availability of these new
networks and have options where they are
currently unavailable," said Ben Brown,
business development manager for DRS
Technologies' Satcom programs.
at job has become easier in recent
months, now that the MUOS waveform
is available. It uses IP versions 4 and 6
(IPv4/IPv6) so war ghters can connect to
the Global Information Grid regardless of
where they are.
"In January, Lockheed Martin delivered
the MUOS so ware waveform," Davis said.
" at will enable military satellite com-
munications terminal providers to deploy
equipment that takes full advantage of en-
hanced MUOS capabilities."
While war ghters wait for terminals to
trickle into the eld, they will still see
some bene ts from the MUOS and AEHF
launches. MUOS hosts a legacy payload
and AEHF supports legacy waveforms,
so existing terminals can use these new
systems. at should ease the operational
transition while also improving commu-
nications quality for existing equipment.
Some of this equipment can be upgraded
to gain some of the new functionality pro-
vided by these new technologies.
"To take advantage of the advanced
waveforms, some upgrades and new ter-
minals are being funded by our customers,"
Pasquale said. e good news is that, be-
cause of the higher gain that our signals pro-
vide, terminals are getting smaller. MUOS
waveform-compatible terminals will, as our
terminal developers report, eventually be
small enough to hold in your hand."
As satellite and terminal solutions
emerge, the ground-based infrastructure
is also being put in place. e nal aspect
of the MUOS network is in the centralized
stations that handle communications.
Two of the four ground stations, those in
Hawaii and Australia, are operational. Sta-
tions in Virginia and Italy should be opera-
tional before the nal satellite is launched.
However, work on the Italian site is on hold.
Early this year, local government o cials
expressed concern about radiation from
the facility, which is located near the town
of Niscemi. e regional government of
Sicily has asked for a pause in construction
until the radiation issue can be resolved. ■
General Dynamics MUOS
Lockheed Martin MUOS
Navy Communications Satellite
MUOS satellite launch
Additional Online Resources
Next-generation satellites carry
UHF and wideband code division
multiple access links, helping the
Space and Naval Warfare Systems
Command make the transition
to cellular communication
technology. Shown is the MUOS
rocket fairing with the Navy PEO
Space Systems logo.
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