PEO Space
Satellite Systems

The PEO Space Systems mission is to develop, acquire, integrate, produce, launch, test and provide operational support to reliable, affordable, flexible, effective and seamless space systems that support Defense Department and U.S. agencies to enable joint, coalition, combined and naval operations. PEO Space Systems coordinates all Department of the Navy space research, development and acquisition activities.


Satellite Programs At Work

PMW 146 has launched 11 narrowband communications satellites to date and continues to manage and maintain the constellations.

The UFO constellation is the present narrowband (64 kilobits per second and below) military satellite communications system. UFO achieved initial operational capability in November 1993 and full operational capability in February 2000. As a gapfiller between UFO and the next generation Mobile User Objective System, the UFO F11 satellite was launched in December 2003. The UFO constellation is comprised of eight operational UFO satellites and is augmented by two FLTSAT satellites and one LEASAT satellite.

As work on the future MUOS system continues, the UFO system is on station 24/7 supporting the warfighter. However, as the UFO constellation reaches its end of life, the time gap prior to the first MUOS launch combined with the greater than expected demand for satellite communications capability has created a potential decline in availability of legacy capacity.

As a near-term mitigation action for the predicted decline and availability, the PMW 146 UFO team successfully tested and is using the dual Digital Receiver Unit (DRU) operations capability on UFO F11. Operating both of F-11’s DRUs simultaneously is providing an additional 12 UHF channels to the warfighter.

Another step being taken is to lease UHF satellite communication services from commercial vendors that have UHF payloads on orbit. PMW 146 finalized the purchase of services in FY09 for multiple UHF satellite communication channels on Skynet-5C and an additional channel on SICRAL 1B in FY10.

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Updated: 9/23/2010 9:33 AM EST   Published