Marine Corps Field Testing Mobile Satellite Communications Equipment

Jeff Brody

Since the first quarter of this year, the Marine Corps is field testing a satellite communications system that enables service personnel in all types of environments to make data and voice transmissions, DVIDS reported Tuesday.

Mobile User Objective System is a narrowband satellite communications system comprised of software and antennas. The Marine Corps is in the process of distributing thousands of antenna kits for the AN/PRC-117G tactical radio, as well as hundreds of diplexers to allow military vehicles to use MUOS for communications purposes.

“MUOS is essentially software and an antenna capability augmenting existing hardware,” said Noah Slemp, systems engineer at Marine Corps Systems Command. “It’s similar to adding an application to a cellphone.”

According to the Department of Defense, over 50 percent of the DOD’s satellite communication involves narrowband communication, which MUOS also uses. However, this type of communication uses less than 2 percent of the Department's bandwidth, meaning that establishing MUOS as an integral tool will increase communications efficiency across the Department despite consuming only a minimal amount of bandwidth. The Corps intends to gradually phase out existing legacy equipment in favor of MUOS.

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