Friday, August 19

US Coast Guard Tackles Communication Problems In The Arctic

Most naval tasks are difficult. Most tasks performed in the Arctic are difficult too. Combine the two, and it becomes a true challenge. Naval tasks performed in Arctic have always been difficult and required additional effort to perform, and not just because of the cold. The region is one of the most remote in the world with extremely limited infrastructure. Even very basic communication from other units deployed north of the Arctic Circle (66 degrees 33 minutes north latitude) are tough.

Luckily however, Lockheed Martin is lending a hand with their new five-satellite MUOS, or mobile user objective system. The MUOS is satellite communication constellation that was specifically developed for the Navy as a partial solution to Arctic communication, according to Paul Scearce, Lockheed Martin’s Military Space Advanced Programs Director.

In the Arctic Sean, reliable communication via traditional military systems is very difficult, if not impossible. The system specification that the MUOS was designed to stops at 65 degrees north latitude. In order to meet the new requirements, a lot of inherent capability was built into the architecture. In 2013, Lockheed Martin conducted its own tests to see if MUOS would function properly in the desolate Arctic region.

USCGC Healy (WABG-20), a United States Coast Guard ice-breaking vessel, is in the process testing the Arctic efficacy of the two MUOS satellites that are currently in orbit. Sponsored by NORAD and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the test will begin at 65 degrees north latitude and go as far north as possible. The Lockheed will then attempt to communicate with sites as far north as Canadian Forces Station Alert, in addition to Colorado Springs, Colorado and San Diego, California.

The MUOS system was designed in order to replace the current constellations of Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UFO) constellation that the Pentagon currently utilizes for satellite communications.

This is situation is a prime example of the communication problems faced by those living and working in remote areas. Communication is essential for any business, especially those located in remote regions, such as the Arctic. Remote construction communication solutions allow businesses to stay connected, even in uncharted areas.

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