MELBOURNE, Florida -- Harris Corporation’s (NYSE:HRS) Falcon III® AN/PRC-117G multiband manpack radio has successfully communicated with the new Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite constellation. MUOS is a next-generation military satellite communications system designed to provide U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) users with enhanced cellular telephone-like capabilities through tactical radios. MUOS was launched aboard Atlas V rockets from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Harris demonstrated third-generation wireless compatibility with the MUOS constellation during a recent high-latitude experiment over the North Pole. The Falcon III radio received and displayed MUOS satellite transmissions during the experiment, demonstrating the viability of MUOS terminals in polar regions, which have been underserved by legacy military UHF satellite communications.
“Harris is fully committed to delivering MUOS capability to the U.S. warfighter,’’ said George Helm, president, Department of Defense business, Harris RF Communications. “The test results validate our advanced capabilities and speed in porting, certifying and deploying complex U.S. government waveforms. The AN/PRC-117G can enable the DoD to address the anticipated shortage of terminals to deliver the significant capabilities that the MUOS constellation offers to the end user.’’
The high latitude experiment was led by Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor to the U.S. government for the MUOS satellite system. The experiment involved repeated transmissions between the MUOS system and the Harris radio onboard a cargo plane flying from Alaska to the North Pole and back. The experiment’s success follows favorable results in a similar test during the summer in U.S. government testing labs in San Diego.
Harris is able to deliver the MUOS waveform to users through a software upgrade to the widely fielded and combat-proven Falcon III AN/PRC-117G manpack radio platform. Of those wideband radios already deployed to users, more than 30,000 are ready to host the MUOS waveform software. Providing MUOS capability through a software upgrade would enable the DoD to quickly and cost effectively fill an expected gap in the availability of radio terminals capable of communicating with MUOS satellites. The upgrade would allow users to immediately deploy the new capability without having to acquire and field new radio terminals.
Under a separate initiative, Harris also is building 10 unfurlable mesh reflector antennas for the MUOS constellation as part of the Lockheed Martin team — two per satellite. These antennas significantly increase the number of users and traffic on the system and provide for legacy SATCOM operations.