Defence supports superior mission effectiveness by providing operators with an easy-to-use, comprehensive and secure toolset that includes everything needed for efficient mission management, securely combining RED/BLACK voice communications in one binaural headset and HMI. The operational, bulletproof technology designed with no single point of failure and built-in redundancy helps to ensure continuity of service, while the open standard compliant IP solution protects the investment with a proven track record of interoperability, guaranteed long-term support, unparalleled data security and straightforward scalability.
The state-of-the-art, scalable, IP-based secure communications system iSecCOM provides seamless integration into an IP infrastructure, thus offering operational advantages when it comes to availability and flexibility. Amongst the main benefits of the system are its open standard interfaces that enable high levels of interoperability between diverse communication components and direct access to already available legacy systems. iSecCOM supports the integration of voice communication systems, gateways including telebriefing and tactical data link voice integration, GFE/Crypto integration, legacy phone support and radio gateways. Meeting both security and safety requirements in one system, iSecCOM provides single and dual security domain (RED/BLACK) IP voice communications for mission-critical tactical and operational command and control systems, serving all forces within the civil and military sectors. Adhering to military and industry standards, it gives operators everything they need for effective mission management across telephone, intercom, radio, recording, data and conference services – all via a single operator position with customisable HMI.
Proven security and reliability
The iSecCOM secure audio switch (iSAS) ensures exceptional security and secure domain separation. iSAS is the world’s smallest switch and is certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in accordance with Common Criteria (CC) EAL4+. Simultaneous operation within RED/BLACK security domains combines security with convenience. Integration of external GFE crypto equipment allows smooth exchange of classified information with other systems.
Matching military air traffic and safety demands with the right network is a considerable challenge. Working with a variety of defence customers, Frequentis experts regularly observe similar needs and business objectives, allowing them to provide a dedicated solution that satisfies customer requirements.
While combining all IP applications in one converged IP infrastructure helps to reduce operational costs, mission-critical applications require a dedicated solution. This is also a requirement for the implementation of SWIM, virtual centres and remote towers.
The need to integrate multiple technologies (e.g. MPLS, microwave, VSAT) in a single backbone from many providers creates additional challenges in a world where some of these networks are stationary and others deployable. The design of such a hybrid network has many challenges – different network delays, varying jitter, routing protocols support and failover behaviour.
These challenges are addressed by providing application-aware routing of communications based not only on the priority of the specific communications, but also on the current performance of the networks available to carry the traffic.
The vitalsphere network provides a level of safety and end-to-end performance not available within conventional networks, allowing for different backbone systems to be incorporated. Stationary and deployable command centres and units can be integrated into a single mission-critical network. In case of main line failure, voice and data communication can be dynamically re-routed via backbone transmission.
Intelligent routing & control
Matching real-time network performance and application needs. The coordination of requirements from different applications optimises bandwidth utilisation and operational cost.
Vendor-neutral end-to-end monitoring of applications and networks. This includes real-time measurements for every backbone, as well as dedicated interfaces to VSAT modems.
Integration of diverse technologies from multiple vendors. By partnering with different vendors to deliver any type of IP-, TDM-, or satellite-based network, all required transport technologies are supported.
Highest end-to-end performance for every application
Utilising brown-out detection allows for resolution of failures before they occur, as it enables action before a link black-out. This process uses real-time information on actual network performance to re-route mission-critical application flows before the link fails. Deterministic communication flows are the foundation for end-to-end path diversity – improving service availability by separating main and standby communication flows across the entire network.
A case in point is the Joint Forces Command (JFC). Even within long-standing, well-organised military organisations there are still silos in each domain as they have developed systems to meet their specific needs – be it for the air, land or maritime environment. This multiplicity of systems often prohibits easy collaboration and sharing across different commands. These diverse organisations work with diverse protocols, and different command and control (C2) systems at both tactical and operational levels.
Combining all of this information in a scalable, easy-to-use and secure JFC is the goal of Frequentis. When envisioning how the interaction between the different organisations and systems could work, the concept addresses several main issues:
- Common Operational Picture (COP): One COP with visibility across all forces and the ability to make command decisions cross-functionally.
- Command and Control: One Joint Forces Command tool with force tracking and integrated voice communications.
- Voice Communication System: One secure voice communication system (G/G and G/A) to enable consistency of contact medium across all forces.
- Incident Management: One system providing customised workflow support and incident management adaptable anytime.
- Decision Making: Secured mobile tablets providing the decision maker with relevant information, such as COP, reports, and media.
Each force commander will continue to use their current well-known systems and is responsible for providing verified data to Joint Forces Command to the next hierarchy level.
The integration of civil aviation authorities makes the scenario even more complex, but Frequentis has a solution. Air Policing is based on the Frequentis Component Framework - a flexible software framework for emergency and incident management that can easily be adapted to any customer’s processes. Its core features are:
- A common operational picture based on a geographical information system (GIS), as well as interfaces to central data sources. As a vital part of the system, it combines a correlated, recognised air picture based on military and civil radar data sources and the NATO-recognised air picture (currently Link 1) with ground and relevant aeronautical information. It also provides the user with a broad feature set that supports the decision-making process when incidents occur.
- A collaboration and decision-support service improves operators' actionability by providing appropriate workflows to guide them through entire incidents. All required information is added automatically or, wherever possible, preselected by the system. Operators’ decisions are assisted by pre-evaluation and provision of weighted scores calculated using defined rules applied to available information. All incidents and actions taken are completely documented to support subsequent evaluation and provide comprehensive records that satisfy all legal requirements.
- The integrated voice communication service connects the system with the operational voice communication system in use. A critical operator task is to get quickly in touch with those who fulfil relevant responsibilities. The system supports this by using different integrated communication services.
- An integrated legal recorder records all actions, communications, incident management and ambience for training and legal purposes.
- The system integrates mobile decision makers with full situational awareness in their hands, displayed on secured tablets.
In addition to Air Policing and Joint Forces Command, the Defence situational awareness capabilities include search and rescue (SAR), drone defence (DD), and border control – for both military operations, as well as for civil-military co-operations (CIMIC).
|Bundeswehr - Germany|
|MINDEFENSIA - Colombia|
Addressing the needs of military use cases
A remote virtual tower replicates the visual tower view to provide ATC services from remote locations, thus improving operations and enhancing safety. This helps to increase efficiency for smaller airbases, create cost-efficient contingency solutions, enhance visibility and safety of existing towers, and to create ATC services in areas previously not covered, such as emergency landing strips or remote landing sites.
Remote tower is also the key enabler for safer and more efficient ATC operations abroad, humanitarian assistance or combat operations. Finally, it is the enabler for increasing higher level of automation and efficiency to create a smart airbase focusing on increased automation of ATC and data fusion.
A mature solution designed by operators
The operationally proven and tested controller working positions ensure safe operation of air traffic, while a variety of sensors, cameras and surveillance options increase controllers’ situational awareness.
The solution is highly scalable and can be customised to specific customer requirements in an incremental change management process, supported by DFS consulting services. Product safety and security are key to guaranteeing continuous operation. Frequentis builds upon cutting edge technology to deliver the required capabilities for ATC and beyond (including drone detection and airbase security). High-end visuals, cooled military infrared technology and advanced object tracking enhance safety and protection for a number of use cases.
The company is actively driving the evolution of remote tower solutions across the world through involvement in major research programs, such as SESAR, and by driving standardisation, e.g. via the EUROCAE working group.
Serving all needs of military ATC
As the importance of military mission fulfilment grows, many aerodromes – domestic and abroad – are challenged by the need to deliver safe, reliable and efficient air traffic control services using a complex mix of legacy and newer technologies. For military aerodromes, there may be additional challenges around meeting international safety and quality standards. The ongoing digitisation of the industry offers opportunities to consolidate and improve the services while reducing costs and securing the most reliable equipment. Military aviation commands and ATC providers can choose from the broad variety of single products for an aerodrome upgrade up to a complete solution for a newly-built military ATC tower or aerodrome. Frequentis technologies will integrate seamlessly with each other and with legacy products or new technologies from other providers.
ATC solutions for tomorrow’s needs
ATC solutions enable military aviation commands and ATC providers to improve safety and situational awareness, ensure mission success, enhance operator efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, increase standardisation and extend ICAO compliance. By bringing together all relevant information, such as weather, ATIS messaging and navigational aid status in a digital format and integrating it for presentation to the controller – with layers of automation and increased usability through intuitive interfaces – situational awareness is improved. From military heliports to fighter airbases, from naval airbases to military transport commands, the Frequentis portfolio can address all requirements.
The modular nature of these ATC solutions enables rapid implementation and strengthened support for an exceptionally broad range of legacy and modern aerodrome equipment. From simple to complex requirements, and from low- to high-traffic volume aerodromes, the air traffic control solutions are optimally sized for the specific needs of today and will scale to whatever the future may hold.
Frequentis Comsoft – the competence centre for surveillance within the Frequentis Group – looks back on a long history of experience with the supply of innovative surveillance solutions. The product portfolio includes ADS-B sensors, multilateration systems, surveillance data distribution and processing systems, and surveillance displays.
ADS-B & MLAT – Quadrant
The superior Quadrant ADS-B sensor is a lightweight and cost-efficient addition to conventional radars, allowing surveillance infrastructures to be increased without costly technological investments. ADS-B and Multilateration (MLAT) have become well-established modern surveillance data sources, as coverage extension systems, as gap fillers or even as alternatives to SSR.
Quadrant is a forward-thinking surveillance solution able to provide ADS-B and MLAT on one single hardware platform by using advanced algorithms to provide independent, genuine 3D, position measurement using MLAT techniques. A single sensor allows surveillance coverage to be extended to areas where surveillance was previously unavailable. Adding additional sensors can inexpensively extend coverage further until overlapping surveillance allows the option to move to MLAT.
Surveillance Data Distribution – SDDS-NG
In ATC, the need to integrate an increasing number of surveillance systems is well-known. Due to changing technologies and additional surveillance data users, the necessary stability of surveillance distribution environments is at risk.
The Next-Generation Surveillance Data Distribution (SDDS-NG) is a state-of-the-art solution for the easy and safe interconnection of any system that handles surveillance data. SDDS-NG is a scalable solution, supporting all current and future surveillance distribution needs by providing the single access point for surveillance data.
Surveillance Data Processing – Tracker
For over a decade, Frequentis Comsoft has been providing one of the most advanced and successful surveillance data processing systems worldwide.
The surveillance processing system integrates all surveillance data sources and establishes a coherent and accurate air situation picture for downstream systems.
Air Surveillance Displays – ASD
Safe and efficient management of flights around aerodromes and en-route are dependent upon a real-time air traffic picture. Frequentis Comsoft ASD is a high-performance, flexible and configurable HMI providing seamless air/ground awareness for air traffic controllers and aerodrome flight information service officers.
The ASD consists of the main traffic window, enabling the controllers to stay focused on the traffic in the assigned area. Additional support sub-windows provide the right information at the right time. The optimised design of the user interface further reduces the workload. It is designed by controllers for controllers, driven by ATC operational experts.
The Defence AIM solution is an entire system landscape consisting of modular components, fully integrated internally and with third party components to ensure complete interoperability along the digital aeronautical data chain, including:
Short-term information management smartINMO
- AIXM NOTAM management
- Web / pilot briefing
- Extensive flight plan management
- smartWeather for the management and integration of meteo data.
Long-term information management smartDM
- AIXM information management
- Extensive reporting tools
- Comprehensive GIS component
- smartETOD for the management and integration of terrain and obstacle data.
Maintaining ICAO standard publications is essential for defence users. The solution provides the following:
- General publication management platform PAMS with smartWeb clients
- smartAIP for AIP management
- smartCharting for management of aeronautical charts.
smartWFM and smartADQ allow defence organisations to map organisational structures around the globe. They come with tools and databases that can help generate workflows that complement team cooperation. All of this can be standardised or adapted with bespoke solutions to suit the individual customer requirements.
All components along the digital data chain possess full data exchange capabilities and are scalable from the smallest units up to solutions for large national organisations. They are also available as stand-alone systems, hub platforms, hub-services or as AIM services in ‘cloud-based’ deployed environments.
Success in the AIM solution landscape is built on intensive investment in research, the desire for continuous improvement and most importantly, by listening to our customers. Our activities under SESAR2020 and NextGen, the extensive participation in expert working groups and the general close collaboration with ICAO, EUROCONTROL, OGC, EUROCAE and CANSO reflects our company culture to be at the forefront of standards in the AIM industry. The unique 4.5/5.1 AIXM data duality implementation was selected as the winner of the SWIM Masterclass, which bears testimony to our continued support for defence and civil air traffic management.
The connected ATM world
Today’s ATM system comprises a wide variety of applications developed over time for specific purposes. It is characterised by many custom communication protocols, each with their own self-contained information systems: on board the aircraft, in the air traffic control centre, in the military control centre, etc. Each of these interfaces is custom designed, developed, managed, and maintained individually and locally at a significant cost. Moreover, the way ATM information is defined / structured, and the way it is provided and used are specific for most of the ATM systems. Today, ANSPs rely on closed systems with proprietary point-to-point communication for data exchange.
The expected increase in aviation capacity demands, economic pressure and attention to the environmental impact are relying ever more on accurate and timely information. Such information must be organised and provided through flexible means that support system-wide interoperability, secured, seamless information access and exchange. SWIM will enable the ATM systems to operate as an overlay to IP networks using open standards and ATM-defined data exchange models (AIXM, WXXM, FIXM).
The Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN) has been used by air navigation services providers for the exchange of messages pertaining to the safety of air navigation. AFTN provides a store-and-forward messaging service for the conveyance of aeronautical text messages of limited size using character-oriented procedures. AMHS, the successor of AFTN is based on the international X.400 messaging standard, which offers enhanced functionality over AFTN, such as the possibility to exchange messages with attachments, end-to-end message security and the use of directory services to enhance interoperability.
Frequentis Comsoft’s AIDA-NG and smartMessenger are designed to assist ANSPs with their migration from AFTN to AMHS. They support both message formats and the bi-directional conversion easing the migration process.
The concept of SWIM – System Wide Information Management - covers a complete change in paradigm of how information is managed across the whole ATM system. SWIM enables direct ATM benefits by assuring the provision of commonly understood quality information delivered to the right people at the right time. SWIM is transversal in its nature, connecting across all ATM systems, data domains, as well as planning, execution, post-execution, and the wide range of stakeholders.
System Wide Information Management (SWIM) is an integral component of the digital transformation that is taking place in the aviation industry and the Frequentis MosaiX SWIM integration platform is a key enabler.
Frequentis MosaiX SWIM is an end-to-end solution that provides organisations with all of the tools required to unlock and monetise their data and by offering new services to their customers. It allows organisations to easily interface with legacy and third-party systems, enabling data to be freed from traditional storage silos and fused with different sources.
Global harmonisation and better exchange of information
SWIM results in a more cost and time efficient exchange of information between providers and users. Global interoperability and standardisation are essential and SWIM is expected to be an important driver for new and updated standards.
- MosaiX SWIM Aviation integration platform
- AIDA-NG Aeronautical Integrated Data Exchange Agent - Next Generation
- smartMessenger ATS Message Handling System (AMHS)