TSM update

TSM-Network Management

Integrated-systems control

The integrated-systems control provides the Signal commander and his or her staff a battlefield signal-management system from echelons-corps-and-below through theater. ISYSCON provides an enhanced, automated capability to plan, configure, monitor, and control legacy mobile-subscriber and triservice-tactical equipment and commercially based area common-user modernization and first-digitized-division communications systems.

The ISYSCON program is obtaining a conditional materiel release. ISYSCON performed successfully in a limited-user test. First-unit-equipped is projected for December.

The 16th Signal Battalion, 3d Signal Brigade, at Fort Hood, Texas, will have new-equipment training in March 2001 on an ISYSCON version capable of planning and managing asynchronous-transfer mode node centers and small extension nodes. The 35th Signal Brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C., has completed ISYSCON NET and will be fielded with ISYSCON in late December.

General Dynamics, the prime contractor, has also begun work on the detailed planning and engineering capability for echelons-above-corps/TRITAC equipment.

Integrated-systems control tent layout ISYSCON tent layout.
ISYSCON limited-user test network diagram ISYSCON limited-user test network diagram.

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FDD Tactical Internet manager

The Tactical Internet manager provides the G-6/S-6 a highly automated network-management capability that significantly reduces the time and effort required to perform planning, initialization, monitoring, reconfiguration and fault management of the tactical-operations center’s local-area networks and TI.

The TI manager successfully demonstrated its initial capability using Release 1 software during the joint-contingency-force advanced warfighting experiment Jan. 17-Sept. 22. The TI manager provides the user a layered-application software baseline that a straight commercial product can’t. Release 2 software provides a complete suite of applications with all common robust COTS features while maintaining a small but powerful network-management signature in the tactical network.

The 4th Infantry Division received NET through Nov. 15 supporting Field Test 3 and the division communications exercise in FY01. A favorable developmental evaluation from Field Test 3 and an operational assessment from DCX will prepare the TI manager for initial operational test and evaluation scheduled in early FY02.

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Army key-management System

The Army’s key-management system will automate, within the Army, the functions of communications-security key management, control and distribution; electronic-protection generation and distribution; and Signal-operation-instruction management.

AKMS consists of two key functional components: local COMSEC-management software and automated communications-engineering software. LCMS provides automation for COMSEC accounting, key generation and key distribution. LCMS resides on a local-management device, which will either be a desktop or laptop personal computer.

The LCMS course is a follow-on to the standard COMSEC custodian course. NET for LCMS with Release 3 Software started June 19; all COMSEC primary and alternate custodians will attend 80 hours’ training at Fort Gordon, Ga., to learn the new automated system.

ACES provides enhanced automated functions of cryptonet management and engineering, SOI and EP. ACES’ LUT was held Aug. 10-24 at Fort Hood; a system assessment is slated for publication in February 2001.

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Joint network-management system

The joint network-management system is being developed to provide commanders-in-chief and joint-forces commanders with a joint-communications planning and management system.

Training and Doctrine Command approved the original operational-requirements document in April 1999. TRADOC then revised and approved the ORD in July 1999, and approved the current ORD (Revision 2) May 16, so the program executive officer for command, control and communications system approved JNMS in August to enter both the program-definition and risk-reduction plus engineering- and manufacturing-development phases of the materiel-acquisition process.

The product manager for communication-management systems’ request-for-proposal draft is undergoing review before release. After the RFP is released and the source-selection process is over, a contract will be awarded.

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TSM-Satellite Communications


The AN/USC-63 Multiplexer Integration and Digital Communications Satellite Subsystem Automation System – commonly known as MIDAS – is a densely packaged baseband processing and management system that combines multiple programmable time-division multiplexer functions, ATM processing and a wide range of interface configurations into a single platform.

MIDAS isn’t a new requirement but an improved implementation of existing baseband requirements. MIDAS has a commercial-off-the-shelf-based architecture and maintains backward compatibility with legacy government-furnished equipment. One of MIDAS’ advantages is a large reduction in the equipment footprint at Defense Satellite Communications System facilities.

MIDAS systems are scheduled for deployment to all standardized tactical entry point and strategic sites worldwide beginning in January 2001.

AN/USC-63 MIDAS Multiplexer Integration and DCSS automation system.

MIDAS’ software emulation of multiplex functions via programmable multiplexer cards transforms box-level functions to card-level functions. The MIDAS approach will also install host cards on a common interconnect bus with electronic patching and central control. The system will also have the capability through a future upgrade to embed the transmission-security encryption function via VME information-security module.

MIDAS will include an ATM cell mux/edge device and link-conditioning capability, enabling efficient ATM transmission over satellite communications. Thus MIDAS will provide a unique, automated, cost-effective approach that not only meets current tactical and strategic user requirements, but also provides expansion capability and new technology insertion for future SATCOM requirements.

MIDAS includes high-speed mux, TD-1389, AN/FCC-100(V)7 and TD-1337(V)1, enhanced TD-1337, T-1 and E-1, which are all multiplexer emulations for tactical/strategic SATCOM interoperability. The decreased system size and increased system capacity permits MIDAS to meet tactical warfighters’ evolving communications needs.

MIDAS operator and maintainer tasks are performed using on-screen point-and-click interactions. Simple menus provide the operator with access to major terminal functions such as initialization, start-up, configuring cards, chassis, channels, additional on-line operations and terminal shutdown. Display formats, functions and on-line guidance features simplify operator and maintainer interactions, which ensures standard interface appearance and behavior.

The 31S SATCOM course will receive two MIDAS systems. The first one is scheduled for the second quarter of fiscal year 2001, with the second system being fielded in fourth quarter FY01. More MIDAS fieldings are slated through FY02. Special MIDAS system configurations will be established for training so more students can access the hardware simultaneously. Although operational systems are limited to four operator-interface units, more personal computers can act as OIUs by installing COTS software.

MIDAS is a triservice program with the projected buy as follows: Army, 19; Navy, 12; Air Force, 15; testing, one. Installation schedule, to include testing and training, is developed per DSCS snapshot, which is held quarterly. The program manager for defense communications and Army transmission systems is the materiel developer, with the milestone-decision authority made by Communications-Electronics Command.

Point of contact is Frank Stein, steinf@gordon.army.mil, DSN 780-7903, commercial (706) 791-7903/7493.

Objective DSCS operating center

The objective DSCS operations center provides real-time positive control of super-high frequency DSCS satellite assets and ground-based SATCOM equipment, and focuses on a user-oriented control system. The system will streamline ground-terminal access for DSCS satellites.

The subsystems for DSCS operations centers were originally designed in the early 1980s on separate platforms with incompatible databases and/or operating systems. ODOC provides critical subsystem enhancements that will remedy technological obsolescence, combine control functions on common computer systems and enhance mission performance through modernization of the Army’s SATCOM control capability. These upgrades will enhance responsive system control, reduce personnel required, increase overall system availability and dynamically evolve to support warfighters’ operational requirements.

ODOC will upgrade existing strategic and contingency DOCs and remote management/monitoring facilities that have been established worldwide. These facilities are required to support the five DSCS satellite footprints and the DSCS system manager. ODOC will control all operational aspects of DSCS SHF (X-band) and C- and Ku-band commercial services that are becoming an element of the DSCS program. ODOC is being developed in phases to upgrade/replace existing subsystems with common hardware and software. Whenever possible, off-the-shelf software packages are being used.

Military-occupation specialty 31S1C will operate and maintain these facilities.

ODOC will provide a homogeneous and seamless software and hardware architecture. This architecture, coupled with state-of-the-art training technology and media, will provide faster and more focused training in the resident course and for sustainment training at the DOCs.

The training subsystem will consist of a device that simulates the satellite spectrum and provides instructor-selectable anomalies the student responds to. Also, enough student positions that emulate ODOC operational positions will be provided to ensure the student has sufficient hands-on training.

ODOC will be housed in current DOCs. Contracts were awarded for the common network-planning software and the replacement DSCS frequency-division multiple-access-control subsystem, which are the initial upgrades.

The Signal Center will be upgraded to ODOC, along with other five facilities. Upgrades are ongoing; FY06 is the projected completion date.

POC is Frank Stein, steinf@gordon.army.mil, DSN 780-7903, commercial (706) 791-7903/7493.

SATCOM terminals modernization

The AN/GSC-52 modernization program will maintain the warfighter’s ability to communicate back to the sustaining base during war or contingency operations via Defense Department SHF satellites. Some of the program’s objectives include enhanced control and monitoring, increased availability and increased commonality with the other DSCS strategic terminals.

Initially, components common to the AN/GSC-39, AN/FSC-78 and AN/TSC-86 terminals are being purchased from an existing contract as a cost-effective means to ensure component commonality for these DSCS terminals. The goal is for the strategic SATCOM terminals to be identical in operation and similar in physical makeup. This will allow SATCOM personnel to move from one fixed terminal to another with minimum site on-the-job training. It should also facilitate a common platform for training at the Signal Center’s SATCOM division in Vincent Hall.

The AN/GSC-52 terminal became operational in 1986 and had an estimated end-of-life year of 2000. The AN/GSC-52 modernization program is comprised of fixed and transportable versions. Not only will modernization increase terminal life, it will also reduce operation and maintenance support costs while providing many enhanced features.

AN/GSC-52 medium-terminal modernization program The AN/GSC-52 medium-terminal modernization program replaces these subsystems: transmitter assembly; control, monitor and alarm; frequency and timing standard; radio-frequency amplifier; frequency-converter group; antenna-tracking subsystem; and antenna group.

Four restoral terminals are being procured for deployment to carry operational traffic while the DSCS terminal (AN/GSC-52, AN/FSC-78, AN/TSC-39) is upgraded. The restoral terminal will consist of -52 modernization components mounted in a 40-foot van, an AS-3199/TSC antenna and the equipment’s trailer, which will transport the antenna system’s cables and ancillary equipment between deployments.

The AN/GSC-52 modernization on-site first-article testing and installation began Aug. 22 at Fort Gordon. The projected buy is 29 fixed sites, 10 vanized terminals and four restoral terminals.

MOS 31S will operate and maintain the terminal.

The program replaces the following subsystems: transmitter assembly; control, monitor and alarm; frequency and timing standard; radio-frequency amplifier; frequency-converter group; antenna-tracking subsystem; and antenna group.

Vincent Hall currently has one AN/GSC-39, one AN/FSC-78 and two AN/GSC-52s. Once modernization and upgrades are completed, the commonality should allow for more hands at the Signal Center with the possibility of less training time, resulting in a cost savings.

To provide sustainment training or OJT, computer-based interactive training is being developed. CBIT will be on CD-ROM and will be downloaded to the site’s maintenance computer. CBIT will be capable of accessing appropriate sections within the interactive electronic technical manuals. CBIT will be capable of simulating the operation and maintenance of the AN/GSC-52 terminal, including CMA. Copies of CBIT will be provided to students attending new-equipment training as well as instructor and key-personnel training. The IETM covering operation and maintenance; test and adjustment; troubleshooting; maintenance-allocation charts repair parts and special-tool lists; and preventive maintenance checks and services will be developed for the entire DSCS family of terminals.

The AN/FSC-78/79 heavy terminal and AN/GSC-39 medium terminal modernization are near completion, with the remaining installations at Wahiawa, Thule, Landstuhl, Guam, Southwest Asia-1 and Southwest Asia-2. With the exception of Wahiawa and Guam – which will be completed this year – the initial installations under the HT/MT modernization program have been completed. (The additional sites were directed from Joint Chiefs of Staff.) The Signal Center’s AN/FSC-78 and AN/GSC-39 were the first ones completed, and training is in progress.

Under the -52 modernization program, a new CMA subsystem will be procured for the AN/FSC-78 and AN/GSC-39 terminals. As a result, all of the DSCS terminals will have common software.

Acronym QuickScan
ACES – automated communications-engineering software
AKMS – Army key-management system
ATM – asynchronous-transfer mode
CBIT – computer-based interactive training
CMA – control, monitor and alarm
COMSEC – communications security
COTS – commercial-off-the-shelf
DCX – division communications exercise
DOC – D(efense Satellite Communications System) operating center
DSCS – Defense Satellite Communications System
EP – electronic protection
FDD – first digitized division
FY – fiscal year
HT – heavy terminal
IETM – interactive electronic technical manuals
ISYSCON – integrated-systems control
LCMS – local c(ommunications-security)-management software
LUT – limited-user test
MIDAS – Multiplexer Integration and Digital Communications Satellite Subsystem Automation System
MOS – military-occupation specialty
MT – medium terminal
NET – new-equipment training
OIU – operator-interface unit
ODOC – objective D(efense Satellite Communications System) operating center
OJT – on-the-job training
ORD – operational-requirements document
RFP – request for proposal
SATCOM – satellite communications
SHF – super-high frequency
SOI – Signal operation instruction
TI – Tactical Internet
TRADOC – Training and Doctrine Command
TRITAC – triservice tactical

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Army Communicator is part of Regimental Division, a division of Office Chief of Signal.

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