November 8, 2016 - Two Harris Corporation unfurlable mesh antenna reflectors successfully deployed October 30 on orbit onboard the U.S. Navy’s fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite. MUOS-5, an advanced, new secure communications satellite built by Lockheed Martin, launched on June 24 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
MUOS-5 is the latest satellite to join the MUOS satellite constellation, which operates like a global military cellular network in the sky, vastly improving current secure communications for mobile forces. Unlike previous systems, MUOS provides users an on-demand capability to transmit and receive high-quality, prioritized voice and mission data on a high-speed IP-based system beyond-line-of-sight, nearly anywhere around the world. This includes connecting into the Global Information Grid, as well as the Defense Switched Network. Once fully operational, MUOS will be compatible with and provide 16-times the capacity of the legacy UHF satellite system.
The antennas are the ninth and tenth Harris-built reflectors for the MUOS constellation. Harris provides two antennas onboard each satellite – a 14-meter diameter antenna to support new MUOS capabilities and a 5.4-meter diameter antenna to support legacy operations.
Harris has delivered more than 30,000 MUOS-capable AN/PRC-117G tactical radios which will be able to deliver the enhanced capability to warfighters with a software upgrade, diplexer and an antenna kit. This innovative and quickly-deployable solution is significantly more cost and time-efficient than procuring new radios.
With more than 80 reflectors in orbit and 40 years of experience designing and building space-borne antennas for government and commercial applications, Harris Corporation is the leading global supplier of unfurlable mesh reflectors and steerable and phased array antennas. With frequencies from UHF to Ka-band and beyond, Harris reflectors range in size from five meters to 22 meters, the world's largest commercially available space antenna.