ASTi Logo

Comms Switch and Equipment Interconnection

Customer

U.S. Department of Defense

Application

ASTi delivered a communications switch with a large number of devices to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The comms switch allows separate operators sharing a variety of comms equipment to interact with one another. Operators can also communicate downrange using a collection of live radios. The DoD uses this switch to manage a number of radio assets available to over 150 different operator positions.

U.S. Air Force photo by Val Gempis

U.S. Air Force photo by Val Gempis

Challenges &
Solutions

The challenge requirements are listed in blue; ASTi's applicable components are in black:

U.S. Air Force photo by Val Gempis

U.S. Air Force photo by Val Gempis

Diverse Comms Equipment in a Single System

Simulate and integrate new equipment with legacy comms equipment over 60 years old.

To integrate older technology with newer software interfaces, ASTi engineers studied and tested the equipment to understand how it worked. ASTi leveraged its 25+ years of comms simulation experience and product development to simulate and/or connect to a variety of configurations. The result is a versatile communication system allowing each room to function separately or all of the rooms to work as a single entity.

Easy Expansion of Current Capabilities

Create new users without additional hardware or cabling.

Thanks to ASTi’s shared configuration management tool, growth in operation is automatically included in the package. When the customer installed a new simulator in the facility, changes to the comm switch were not required. Adding new operators meant configuring IP addresses, not building new cables and servers.

Accelerated Delivery Schedule

Deliver comprehensive training system under tight deadline.

Since the contract deployed months late, the customer needed a fast turnaround to satisfy the government’s demanding training schedule. In response, our technical staff worked overtime to design, develop, and install this complex system without compromising quality. Most deliverables of this scope take a year or more to complete, but ASTi finished the project on time in under six months.

Compact Hardware Footprint

Support more assets with less hardware.

The customer’s previous solution used multiple racks of equipment and was limited in scope. ASTi developed custom hardware interfaces that only use 1U of rack space. Through networked audio, ASTi also reduced a large tangle of analog cabling to only a few Ethernet cables.

Simple Configuration Management Tools

Enable rapid configuration of the comm switch depending on the day and exercise; provide ability to run multiple simulations at the same time, each with its own unique switch configuration.

Switch operators needed to build and save configurations quickly without completing onerous tables or spreadsheets. To keep the simulations independent, the configuration had to be obvious and easy to read. They also wanted to make changes without disrupting ongoing training.

In response, ASTi developed a customized user interface for the comm switch. Operation is crystal clear. Using one-touch icons, switch operators can monitor comms activity, view the status of various channels, and interface with those channels as needed. No additional training is required.

Solution Diagram. Click to expand

Components Deployed