Building and launching spacecraft sometimes gets so much attention that the ground segment — user terminals, command and control systems and network operations —isn’t always ready even after a satellite is in space.
The Canadian military, already a partner on two U.S. military satellite communications systems, is in discussions to use a third constellation that was until recently a U.S.-only system.
The U.S. Navy announced that its MUOS-5 satellite has finally reached operational orbit following a problem with the main propulsion system in June.
Harris Corp. said Nov. 1 that the backpack-sized military radios it builds for U.S. troops to carry into combat were recently certified by the National Security Agency to use the higher-throughput capabilities of the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites.
The U.S. Air Force said Aug. 18 it sent one of its high-orbiting space surveillance satellites to check on a Navy communications satellite that ran into propulsion problems about halfway to geosynchronous orbit.
The U.S. Navy said its newest communications satellite was about halfway to geosynchronous orbit when its orbit raising propulsion system failed during a transfer maneuver June 29.
Lockheed Martin on July 20 reported lower revenue and operating profit at its Space Systems division for the six months ending June 26 despite a large profit contribution by launch-service provider United Launch Alliance (ULA).
The Canadian military wants to build a new constellation that would provide 24-hour satellite communications for the Arctic region as early as 2023, one of the country’s top space officers said June 29.
United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket returned to flight June 24 with its first launch in three months to successfully lift the fifth and final satellite in the U.S. Navy’s next-generation mobile communications system.
Harris Corp. on May 3 said it has successfully tested a software patch that will upgrade thousands of U.S. military tactical radio terminals to use the higher-throughput MUOS satellite system.
A consortium of U.S. international partners, led by Canada, could reach an agreement early next year to build a sixth Mobile User Objective System narrowband communications satellite, a top Lockheed Martin executive said March 15.
The Defense Department may abandon its practice of distinguishing between wideband, narrowband and protected communications on its next generation of tactical communications satellites, a top Pentagon official said March 7.
The decision comes after years of allied complaints, especially from nations that had purchased U.S.-built Joint Strike Fighter aircraft on the assumption that they would be fitted with MUOS communications pods.
The successful launch of the U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System communications satellite Sept. 2 rounds out a multibillion-dollar constellation that has been in development for more than a decade. But the launch is also a reminder that more than three-and-a-half years after the February 2012 launch of the first satellite, some two years behind schedule, the MUOS system’s advanced capabilities remain unavailable.