General Dynamics expands Arizona MUOS radio test lab

General Dynamics 112Falls Church, VA-based General Dynamics announced February 12 that its Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) radio test laboratory in Scottsdale, Arizona has added ‘over-the-air’ MUOS radio testing for companies intending to connect their radio and antenna products to the MUOS network. With the new over-the-air test capability, radio products can make calls from the Scottsdale lab to an orbiting MUOS satellite to evaluate voice and data performance. Companies can also test their product’s performance with the simulated MUOS ground station network at the same facility. The General Dynamics MUOS test lab is one of two U.S. Navy-qualified labs that help vendors understand how well their equipment will work on the MUOS system.

“The MUOS test lab in Scottsdale is the only facility to provide connectivity to both the MUOS ground system and an orbiting satellite, representing a one-stop, cost-effective path to test a radio or antenna’s ability to connect with the Navy’s newest and most advanced satellite communications system, ” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems. “In addition to offering the test lab, we’re proud to also have developed the MUOS waveform and built the MUOS ground station system that both connects personnel with the MUOS network and manages MUOS satellite operations.”

The first step in testing radio connectivity with the MUOS system is adding the General Dynamics-developed MUOS waveform to the vendor-supplied test radios. The waveform is the ‘dial tone’ needed to connect with the network. Following integration of the MUOS waveform, the radio is ready to call the MUOS network, transmitting the call to a General Dynamics-built MUOS ground station that determines the best combination of satellites and ground stations to connect radio calls with the speed and voice clarity that civilians expect using their smartphones.

The General Dynamics MUOS lab first opened in April 2014 offering radio testing over a simulated MUOS ground communications network.  General Dynamics has also delivered significant capability to the Navy’s MUOS network including:

  • Developing the MUOS waveform that was delivered to the government’s repository in 2013.
  • Successfully demonstrating that General Dynamics’ AN/PRC-155 two-channel radio is the first tactical radio to successfully connect multiple personnel, at three different U.S. Army installations nationwide, to the MUOS network, reliably sustaining one-on-one and group conference calls.
  • Delivering the global MUOS ground stations that provide cyber-secure network communications and control of the MUOS satellites and U.S. Department of Defense networks to the Navy.

Companies interested in accessing General Dynamics Mission Systems’ MUOS over-the-air and ground systems test lab must first contact and receive approval from the U.S. Navy’s Communications Satellite Program office, PMW 146.

General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Space and Intelligence enterprise is a global leader and innovator providing mission-critical products and systems for manned and unmanned space exploration. These capabilities also support space-based government operations that protect national security and provide climate and geographic observation and analysis worldwide. The proven capabilities that serve space and intelligence customers also connect and protect General Dynamics Mission Systems, Soldier’s Network customers in the United States and around the world.