ASTi recently achieved sign off for an upgrade to the communication switch located at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The comm. switch allows 5 separate E-3 AWACS simulators to connect to a variety of live communication assets including phone lines, radios, encrypted VOIP channels, and shout lines. The functionality provides live-to-virtual bridging of radio traffic, giving students and instructors the ability to communicate to the outside world without ever leaving the simulator.
The comm. switch is a critical element of USAF's Mission Simulator Live Intercept Training Environment (MS LITE) exercises. By sharing communications and live radar with the outside world, crew members have the ability to control airborne aircraft while working in a ground environment. The upgrade allows AWACS personnel to have real world training and interaction with actual fighter units.
The communications switch was built upon ASTi's Telestra product line and provided a fully-customized solution. ASTi's engineering team delivered custom hardware interfaces, and developed a specialized configuration tool to assist on-site personnel by leveraging Commercial, Off-the-Shelf (COTS) products and prices.
Working on a team with H2 IT Solutions, Inc. and ProActive Technologies LLC, the year-long program finished two months ahead of schedule, with ASTi providing assistance from kick-off to sign-off. ASTi supported all phases of the program with engineering services for design, integration, management, support, training, and documentation. By combining ASTi custom engineering with ASTi COTS products, the program was a success with lower risk and lower costs to the customer.