Shared Live-Tactical Comms among Aircraft and Ships across Multiple Facilities


U.S. Navy Surface Combat Systems Center (SCSC) in Wallops Island, VA


The Naval Sea Systems Command (NSSC) SCSC primarily tests, trains, and supports Surface Navy combat systems; develops, integrates, and interoperates advanced warfare systems; and tests and conducts at-sea exercises.

The Aegis Engineering and Training (AE&T) and Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS) facilities at NASA Wallops Flight Facility need to communicate with ships, aircraft, and each other. In the past, each facility maintained radio equipment enabling such communication.

Aegis cruiser launching a missile

Aegis cruiser launching a missile

Challenges &

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

Aegis cruiser launching a missile

Aegis cruiser launching a missile

Tactical Equipment Expansion for Growing Program

Provide access to radios and internal communications in new labs with familiar operator interfaces.

Navy shore installations support specific ship platforms, such as Aegis and SSDS for the SCSC. As platforms roll out new baselines and older baselines remain active, shore installations must expand.

ASTi provided the communication tools SCSC needed to expand its infrastructure while adding additional capabilities to existing systems. Specifically, we connected our Voisus Radio Bridge product to 12 channels of the Navy’s SA-2112 switch. Radio Bridge established a digital voice path increasing the switch’s capacity from one to multiple baseline labs across several facilities. The new labs also received 56 Radio Bridges and Voisus clients, providing a digital voice interface to tactical consoles (e.g., ON-201, ON-568, ON-740). Each console can access all radios on the SA-2112 switch.

Additionally, ASTi used Voisus clients to create an operational control center with 25 stations. With this cost-saving measure, operators can communicate with other stations using virtual radios, point-to-point calling, and chat. Radio Bridge also grants stations access to any available tactical radio connected to the SA-2112 switch.

Information Assurance (IA) Compliance

Maintain ongoing compliance with stringent, DoD cybersecurity certification and accreditation processes, including Risk Management Framework (RMF).

The customer subscribed to ASTi’s IA maintenance program to receive periodic, software-hardening packages that are easy to install, thus relieving their technical staff of difficult, time-consuming chores. ASTi’s current generation server products are based on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, the most certified operating system available today. The IA program is an ideal security solution for customers who require even more rigorous IA controls, conformance to DoD standards, and OS patch management throughout the product’s lifetime.

Communication Between Facilities

Provide a communication path between facilities that does not require live radios.

Network connectivity between the facilities made it easy to interface digital voices among operators at any location. ASTi used Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) protocol to establish a common backbone among Voisus servers and Comms Loggers. Now facilities, labs, and even individual operators may share virtual networks and radios. Voice recordings at each facility serve as backups, decreasing risk of data loss.

Voice Recorder Upgrades

Replace an end-of-life, analog voice recorder without interrupting service.

After connecting Radio Bridge to the SA-2112 switch, ASTi installed its Comms Logger product alongside the existing eight-channel, analog voice recorder. Comms Logger captured four extra channels for a total of 16 channels, recording the radios as well as internal, digital voices. The SCSC may choose an individual stream or a group of voice streams for a single archive file. For immediate review, they can also replay streams with a computer connected to the Internet. Either way, Comms Logger meets the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation requirements should the need arise.

Components Deployed

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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