Harris‘s Falcon III AN/PRC-117G manpack radio successfully demonstrated third-generation wireless compatibility with the new mobile user objective system (MUOS) satellite constellation, during a high-latitude experiment above the North Pole.

During the experiment, the multiband radio received and displayed MUOS satellite transmissions, thereby demonstrating the viability of MUOS terminals in polar regions, which have until now been underserved by the conventional military ultra high frequency (UHF) satellite communications.

Harris RF Communications Department of Defense business president George Helm said the test results evaluate the company’s advanced capabilities and speed in porting, certification and deployment of complex US Government waveforms.

"The AN/PRC-117G can enable the Dod to address the anticipated shortage of terminals to deliver the significant capabilities that the MUOS constellation offers to the end user," Helm added.

Led by MUOS prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, the high latitude experiment involved repeated transmissions between the MUOS system and the AN/PRC-117G radio installed aboard a cargo plane flying from Alaska to the North Pole and back.

Similar testing carried out by Lockheed in US Government testing labs in San Diego, during summer, also yielded favourable results.

A next-generation military satellite communication system, the MUOS is designed to provide US Department of Defense (DoD) users with enhanced cellular telephone-like capabilities through tactical radios.

Operating as a global cellular service provider, the system will provide warfighters with capabilities for direct communication with each other and their commanders virtually anywhere in the world.

Harris is planning to deliver the MUOS waveform to users through a software upgrade to the widely-fielded and combat proven Falcon III AN/PRC-117G radio, thereby eliminating the requirement for the users to purchase and deploy new radio terminals.

In addition, the company is building ten unfurlable mesh reflector antennas for the MUOS constellation, which will significantly increase the number of users and traffic on the system and allows for legacy SATCOM operations.