North Pole Demonstration Puts MUOS Through Its Paces

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The U.S. Navy’s next-generation mobile communications satellite program has demonstrated it can transfer large files to the North Pole, according to a May 5 press release from the program’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin.

Beginning in mid-March, the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System transmitted secure data — including a stream of photos and maps, some as large as 20 megabytes — to a floating ice camp above the Arctic circle for 150 hours as part of an annual Arctic submarine exercise.

“This is the first time MUOS has been used for secure government exercises,” Paul Scearce, Lockheed Martin’s director of advanced military space programs, said in the release. “This means users could traverse the globe using one radio, without needing to switch out because of different coverage areas. This goes far in increasing the value that MUOS provides mobile users, not just in traditional theaters of operation, but those at the furthest extents of the planet.”

In 2013, Lockheed demonstrated a connection with the MUOS system while in a C-130 transport plane.