Comparing the capabilities and performance of the ultra high frequency follow-on system with the mobile user objective system
Matassa, Christopher K.
Huynh, Thomas V.
Scott, Alan D.
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The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is the DoD's next generation military Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Satellite Communication (SATCOM) system being designed to augment and eventually replace the currently oversubscribed UHF Follow-On (UFO) System. MUOS adapts a commercial third generation (3G) Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) cellular phone network architecture and combines it with geosynchronous satellites (in place of cell towers) with the goal of providing a more capable UHF SATCOM system. This research aims at investigating the differences between the legacy UFO and MUOS systems in terms of network performance and quality of service. Using modeling and simulation of both systems against input traffic loads of a hypothetical Joint Task Force, a comparative study of the performance and capabilities of each system is conducted to quantify the extent of MUOS improvements. The study finds that MUOS can tolerate a traffic demand rate of about 83 calls/messages per second whereas UFO saturates at roughly 4 calls/messages per second. MUOS's ability to offer a higher level of quality of service, assured access, and increased capacity will enable more tactical users to share timely information while reducing the uncertainty that they will be able to communicate with their intended recipient. Faster service data rates reduce delays in relaying information during time critical operations. The system represents a paradigm shift in UHF SATCOM from circuit-based, assigned networks to on-demand, global IP-based, net-centric networks. This study has shown that, as specified in its designs, MUOS can provide a level of system performance that will place the system in a preeminent role for the network-centric operations critical to the mission effectiveness of today's military.
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