TSM update

TSM-Tactical Radio

Enhanced Position-Location Reporting System

Preparation continues for user testing in November of the Enhanced Position-Location Reporting System’s network manager, which will replace EPLRS’ network-control station. Initial fielding will support Stryker Brigade Combat Team-3 in Fiscal Year 2003.

See Army Communicator’s Spring 2002 edition for more information on major EPLRS improvements.

Multifunctional Information-Distribution System

The Multifunctional Information-Distribution System radio has undergone extensive developmental and operational tests within the past year.

The Data Authentication Group and Reliability and Maintainability Scoring Conference met at Air-Defense-Artillery Test Directorate, Fort Bliss, Texas, to evaluate performance, logistics, reliability, maintainability and manpower and personnel-integration issues. The Army Evaluation Center is developing that group’s findings and will provide a system-evaluation report to the program manager, according to CPT Mark Paulus, an ADADT test officer.

The PM, in turn, will provide input for a full-rate production decision in 1st Quarter FY 03. Pending the Milestone Decision Authority’s decision, MIDS could make its debut as early as October in the new air-defense-artillery battery command post

Near-term digital radio/BAE Systems' Step 2C radio

Near-term digital radio and BAE Systems’ Step 2C radio are developmental/experimental, mobile, packet data radios that provide a secure, self-organizing, self-healing network capability. NTDR uses the carrier-sense multiple-access protocol, while BAE Step 2C is a two-channel, software-programmable radio system using CSMA and time-division multiple-access protocols.

In addition to 4th Infantry Division and 1st Calvary Division, the first two SBCTs at Fort Lewis, Wash., are also receiving NTDR.

The BAE Step 2C customer test was scheduled for 4th Quarter FY02 at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. BAE Step 2C will be fielded to SBCT-3 through SBCT-6. The first unit scheduled to receive BAE 2C is SBCT-3 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. BAE Step 2C fielding is planned for 1st Quarter FY03.

Joint Tactical Radio System

In April the Joint Requirements Oversight Council revalidated and approved the operational requirement to build the Joint Tactical Radio System. Also, the JTRS’ program’s first block procurement underwent a successful Milestone B decision review by the defense acquisition executive in 3d Quarter FY02.

On June 24, the Boeing Company of Seal Beach, Calif., was awarded a $73,666,000 increment as part of an $856,539,000 cost-plus-award-fee contract – with an estimated total of $2,008,116,734 if all options are exercised – for development, demonstration and low-rate initial production of JTRS’ Cluster 1. Work will be performed in Anaheim, Calif., and is to be complete by Jan. 31, 2008.

JROC will be presented an updated JTRS operational-requirements document in 4th Quarter FY02 to see if the council will approve more requirements supporting the maturing Objective Force concepts and future-combat-systems requirements. These requirements include the ability to communicate through subterranean and urban communications-masking environments; automatic selection of frequency (to make “adventitious use of spectrum”); handheld JTRS operation on two simultaneous channels; wideband-networking waveform accelerated to a threshold requirement for handheld; integration into emerging dismounted-soldier equipment and small unattended ground platforms; near-zero low probability of interception/low probability of detection/low probability of exploitation techniques; ability to configure any JTRS set for private point-to-point and conference-call capability; and embedded training capability.

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Milstar is a joint-service satellite-communications system that provides secure, jam-resistant worldwide communications to meet essential wartime requirements for high-priority military users. The multi-satellite constellation will link command authorities with a variety of resources – including ships, submarines, aircraft and ground stations. Milstar was designed to be the most advanced military-communications satellite system to date and represents the future of U.S. communications capability.

All Milstar satellites provide low-data-rate communications (voice, data, teletype and facsimile) at 75 bits per second to 2.4 kilobits per second. The last three Milstar II satellites will provide medium-data-rate communications (voice, data, teletype, facsimile) at 4.8 kbps to 1.544 megabits per second.

The first Milstar satellite, Milstar Flight 1, was launched Feb. 7, 1994, aboard a Titan IV expendable launch vehicle. Milstar Flight 2 was launched in 1995. Failures in the Centaur upper-stage software development, testing and quality-assurance process led to an April 30, 1999, Titan IVB mission mishap that resulted in the loss of Milstar Flight 3.

Following Milstar 3, Milstar Flight 4 and Flight 5 were successfully launched with the MDR payload as well as LDR. Milstar 4 and 5 have much higher capacity than previous Milstar satellites. The MDR payload’s higher data rate will enhance support to tactical users in the field.

Milstar Flight 4 is operational at 90 degrees west latitude. Flight 5 was launched in January and is now operational at 4 degrees east latitude.

Flight 6 is scheduled for launch in November. When Flight 6 testing is complete, Flight 4 will be moved to 177.5 degrees east latitude and Flight 6 will remain at 90 degrees west.

POC is Steve Churm, DSN 780-3418, commercial (706) 791-3418, email churms@gordon.army.mil.

Acronym QuickScan
ADADT – Air-Defense-Artillery Test Directorate
CSMA – carrier-sense multiple access
EPLRS – Enhanced Position-Location Reporting System
FY – fiscal year
JROC – Joint Requirements Oversight Council
JTRS – Joint Tactical Radio System
Kbps – kilobits per second
LDR – low data rate
MDR – medium data rate
MIDS – Multifunctional Information-Distribution System
NTDR – near-term digital radio
PM – program manager
SBCT – Stryker Brigade Combat Team

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