Mobile User Objective System
The Mobile User Objective System is an array of geosynchronous satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

s being developed for the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 (DoD) to provide global satellite communications (SATCOM) narrowband
In radio, narrowband describes a channel in which the bandwidth of the message does not significantly exceed the channel's coherence bandwidth. It is a common misconception that narrowband refers to a channel which occupies only a "small" amount of space on the radio spectrum.The opposite of...

 (64 kbit/s and below) connectivity for communications use by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and allies.


The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is an Ultra High Frequency
Ultra high frequency
Ultra-High Frequency designates the ITU Radio frequency range of electromagnetic waves between 300 MHz and 3 GHz , also known as the decimetre band or decimetre wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten decimetres...

 (UHF) (300 MHz to 3 GHz frequency range) SATCOM system, primarily serving the DoD. The MUOS will replace the legacy UHF Follow-On
UHF Follow-On System
The Ultra High Frequency Follow-On System is a United States Department of Defense program sponsored and operated by the U.S. Navy to provide communications for airborne, ship, submarine and ground forces. The UFO constellation replaced the U.S. DOD Fleet Satellite Communications System ...

 (UFO) system before that system reaches its end of life to provide users with new capabilities and enhanced mobility, access, capacity, and quality of service. Intended primarily for mobile users (e.g. aerial and maritime platforms, ground vehicles, and dismounted soldiers), MUOS will extend users' voice, data, and video communications beyond their lines-of-sight.

The MUOS operates as a global cellular service provider to support the war fighter with modern cell phone-like capabilities, such as multimedia
Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term can be used as a noun or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which use only rudimentary computer display such as text-only, or...

. It converts a commercial third generation (3G) Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) cellular phone system to a military UHF SATCOM radio system using geosynchronous satellites in place of cell towers. By operating in the UHF frequency band, a lower frequency band than that used by conventional terrestrial cellular networks, the MUOS provides warfighters with the tactical ability to communicate in "disadvantaged" environments, such as heavily forested regions where higher frequency signals would be unacceptably attenuated
In physics, attenuation is the gradual loss in intensity of any kind of flux through a medium. For instance, sunlight is attenuated by dark glasses, X-rays are attenuated by lead, and light and sound are attenuated by water.In electrical engineering and telecommunications, attenuation affects the...

 by the forest canopy. The MUOS constellation will consist of four operational satellites and one on-orbit spare. MUOS will provide military point-to-point and netted communication users with precedence-based and pre-emptive access to voice, data, video, or a mixture of voice and data services that span the globe. Connections may be set up on demand by users in the field, within seconds, and then released just as easily, freeing resources for other users. In alignment with more traditional military communications methods, pre-planned networks can also be established either permanently or per specific schedule using the MUOS' ground-based Network Management Center.

The Navy's Communications Satellite Program Office (PMW 146) of the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Space Systems in San Diego is lead developer for the MUOS Program. Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

 is the Prime System Contractor and satellite designer for MUOS under U.S Navy Contract N00039-04-C-2009, which was announced September 24, 2004. The cost-plus-incentive-fee-and-award-fee contract award for the MUOS defined a base period-of-performance of seven years valued at $2,110,886,703. The base contract provides for an Initial Operational Capability comprising two satellites with the associated MUOS ground control elements. The contract also defined contract options which, if exercised, would add four years and $1,154,948,927 to the base. Key subcontractors include General Dynamics
General Dynamics
General Dynamics Corporation is a U.S. defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2008 it is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Its headquarters are in West Falls Church , unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Falls Church area.The company has...

 (Ground Transport architecture), Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

Legacy system
A legacy system is an old method, technology, computer system, or application program that continues to be used, typically because it still functions for the users' needs, even though newer technology or more efficient methods of performing a task are now available...

 UFO and portions of the WCDMA payload) and Harris
Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation is a Florida-based international communications equipment company that produces wireless equipment, electronic systems, and both terrestrial and spaceborne antennas for use in the government, defense, and commercial sectors. It is also the largest private-sector employer in...

 (deployable mesh reflectors). The first MUOS satellite was scheduled for launch in late 2009 with on-orbit capability achieved in 2010. This has been delayed to the first launch in Nov 2010 and operational by February 2011. First launch has now been delayed further to December 2011.

Legacy payload

In addition to the cellular MUOS WCDMA payload, a fully capable and separate UFO legacy payload is incorporated into each satellite. The "Legacy" payload extends the useful life of legacy UHF SATCOM terminals and enables a smoother transition to MUOS. The Joint Tactical Radio System
Joint Tactical Radio System
The Joint Tactical Radio System is planned to be the next-generation voice-and-data radio used by the U.S. military in field operations after 2010...

 (JTRS) is the program of record that will provide the DoD terminals that can communicate with the MUOS WCDMA waveform
Waveform means the shape and form of a signal such as a wave moving in a physical medium or an abstract representation.In many cases the medium in which the wave is being propagated does not permit a direct visual image of the form. In these cases, the term 'waveform' refers to the shape of a graph...

. MUOS also allows on-the-move users access to
shore-based, DoD-exclusive telephone and INTERNET networks of the Defense Information Systems Network
Defense Information Systems Network
The Defense Information System Network has been the United States Department of Defense's enterprise network for providing data, video and voice services for 40 years....

 (DISN) services via the DoD Teleport and the MUOS ground infrastructure.

MUOS Ground Stations

The MUOS will include four ground station facilities. Site selections were completed in 2007 with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the U.S. navy and the Australia Department of Defence. The four ground stations, each of which serves one of the four active satellites of the MUOS constellation will be located at: the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station
Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station
The Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station is located at Kojarena, 30 km east of Geraldton, Western Australia. The ADSCS is part of the US signals intelligence and analysis network ECHELON...

 at Kojarena about 30 km east of Geraldton, Western Australia
Geraldton, Western Australia
Geraldton is a city and port in Western Australia located north of Perth in the Mid West region. Geraldton has an estimated population at June 2010 of 36,958...

; Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) Niscemi
Niscemi is a town and comune in the province of Caltanissetta, Sicily, Italy. It has a population of 26,492.-Etymology:The name Niscemi is derived from the Arabic word نَشَم neshem or its singular form نَشَمَة neshemeh, this being the name of a particular type of tree.-World War II:During World War...

 about 60 km from Naval Air Station Sigonella
Naval Air Station Sigonella
Naval Air Station Sigonella , "The Hub of the Med", is a U.S. Navy installation at NATO Base Sigonella and an Italian Air Force base in Sicily, Italy. Although a tenant of the Italian Air Force, NAS Sigonella acts as landlord to more than 40 other U.S. commands and activities. It is located west...

;, Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

; Southeast Virginia; and the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific, Hawaii
Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific
Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific provides operational direction and management to all Pacific Naval Telecommunication System users...


The Navy's 2007 RDT&E Budget Item Justification for 0303109N Satellite Communications (Space), indicates that MUOS efforts in the period from FY2006-FY2009 will focus on, among other activities, designing, developing, fielding, and testing the MUOS ground segment.

External links

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