Military Embedded Systems

Navy's MUOS-5 satellite begins testing after experiencing anomaly in initial launch

News

November 08, 2016

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Navy's MUOS-5 satellite begins testing after experiencing anomaly in initial launch
Photo by Lockheed Martin

SUNNYVALE, Calif. The fifth Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite for the U.S. Navy has reached orbit and deployed its solar arrays and antennas. The satellite will begin on-orbit testing before being turned over to the Navy for further testing and eventual commissioning into service.

The satellite was originally launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 24, but it experienced an anomaly with its orbit raising propulsion system on its way to geosynchronous orbit on June 29. Officials explain, that the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin engineering team placed the satellite in safe mode to investigate and examine their options.

“In the end, the Navy and Lockheed Martin engineering team were able to isolate the issue and develop a work-around using alternative propulsion,” says Mark Woempner, director of Narrowband Communications Systems at Lockheed Martin. “Once we had a plan together, in early October we carefully re-started orbit raising maneuvers.”

MUOS-5 completes a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations for the Navy. Users with MUOS-capable terminals will be able to connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the Global Information Grid, as well as into the Defense Switched Network.

The Navy's Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program Office responsible for the MUOS program are based in San Diego. Lockheed Martin assembled and tested all five now-on-orbit MUOS satellites at its Sunnyvale, California, facility.

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