Rockwell Collins recently demonstrated a low-cost solution to enable U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft to fully participate in multiple tactical situational awareness networks.
The Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command Test Center and Air Force Reserve Command utilized the Rockwell Collins AN/ARC-210 radio and the Raytheon Company’s Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL) to provide beyond-line-of-sight and line-of-sight network information. This information was integrated in the Rockwell Collins Data Link Processor, featuring OpenEdge™ software, and was displayed on the Rockwell Collins Flight Information Management System (FIMS).
The FIMS provided the aircraft’s position and location of other aircraft participating in the network on a moving map to the pilot and co-pilot, as well as text chat and mission assignments from a command and control facility. A standard Air Force laptop computer was used by the navigator, mirroring the same capabilities as the FIMS. The FIMS is also capable of processing and displaying electronic charts, real-time graphical weather, live video feeds via data link, and aircraft management applications.
Rockwell Collins’ OpenEdge solutions enhance mission effectiveness of tactical units by providing situational awareness and battlespace collaboration capabilities using currently deployed network and communication infrastructure. These capabilities provide near-term, affordable Net Centric Operations functionality to the tactical edge users.
“This successful flight test validates our ability to utilize low-cost, off-the-shelf products to provide real-time situational awareness to the aircrew,” said Phil Jasper, vice president and general manager of Mobility and Rotary Wing Solutions. “Our expertise in integrating situational awareness and network communications onto existing aircraft enabled this concept to become a reality.”