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MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS
GD's MUOS-Manpack PRC-155 Radio Connects USAF Aircraft to Ops Center
by Staff Writers
Scottsdale AZ (SPX) Oct 10, 2014


File image.

General Dynamics C4 Systems supported a successful Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite communications (SATCOM) demonstration connecting an U.S. Air Force C-17 mobility aircraft, flying over the Pacific Ocean, with a simulated airlift operations center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Using MUOS-equipped AN/PRC-155 radios located in the aircraft and on the ground, Air Force observers at Scott Air Force Base were able to talk with the airborne C-17 aircrew, exchange data and monitor the flight status of the aircraft using the MUOS satellite communications system.

"The Air Force reached out to General Dynamics asking us to demonstrate how the PRC-155 Manpack radio and the MUOS SATCOM system would work in an airborne C-17," said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems.

"The Air Force observers experienced the cellphone-like voice clarity during conversations with the flight crew and realized the powerful new voice and data capability this communications combination represents."

Over the course of the four-day demonstration, the MUOS-Manpack PRC-155 two-channel radios aboard the aircraft consistently sent and received secure voice and data communications, including in-flight position and location information, from the aircraft to the operations center at Scott Air Force Base.

The MUOS Manpack PRC-155 radio also used a loosely coupled airborne networking suite to route flight-path changes from the command center directly to the pilot and aircrew, displaying the information on portable cockpit mission displays.

Data from the aircraft's flight computers traveled securely from the PRC-155 radio, over the MUOS satellite and down to the PRC-155 radio in the operations center allowing Air Force personnel to watch the aircraft's flight on their mission tracking/status workstation displays.

In addition to the Air Force demonstration, the PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack radio is the first to deliver secure voice and data connectivity using the MUOS system in Polar Regions, from the ground and aboard aircraft in flight. The PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radio was developed by General Dynamics.

The MUOS satellite communications system offers smartphone-quality voice communications and more than 10-times the data capacity of the legacy UHF satellite communications system that is more than 20-years old. To connect to the MUOS satellite system, radios, like the PRC-155, must have the MUOS communications waveform that is based on commercial cellular networks technologies.

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