24 juillet 2019 | International, C4ISR

German army relies on Rohde And Schwarz

Munich 22-Jul-2019 - IDZ-ES and the PUMA infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for the VJTF 2023 are making a start on the end-to-end digital command radio link over the first mile using software defined radios from Rohde & Schwarz.

The seamless command radio link for the PUMA armored infantry system with the infantryman of the future (IdZ-ES) for the Very High Readiness Joint Taskforce (VJTF) 2023 is provided by Rohde & Schwarz. With the Budget Committee of the German Lower House of German Parliament (Bundestag) having given its approval for the armored infantry system service package at the end of June, the necessary contracts for procurement have now also been completed.

"This order is a milestone that we have reached after winning against international competitors in challenging trials and comparative tests set by the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in 2018 in Munster, Germany," explained Hartmut Jäschke, Senior Vice President Market Segments Secure Communications Sales and Projects at Rohde & Schwarz.

Its basis is the intention of the Bundeswehr to be ready with the PUMA IFV/armored infantry system and the latest version of IdZ-ES for NATO VJTF (Land) in 2023. Rohde & Schwarz is a subcontractor of Rheinmetall Electronics, which is responsible for the IdZ-ES system, and will supply the latest tactical software defined radios (SDR) together with suitable waveforms, integration, training and services.

The SOVERON family works with the high data rate and interference-immune SOVERON WAVE waveforms for tactical rugged use on the first mile, and is thus an exact match for the spectrum of requirements of a battle group for territorial and collective defense as well as for international crisis management operations.

All members of the SOVERON WAVE family of waveforms offer mobile ad hoc network (MANET) functionality. Radios equipped with this capability function as routers within the IP network group, forwarding the information via other communication nodes and thus ensuring that a robust, interference-immune link can be maintained under all circumstances.

The Rohde & Schwarz VHF/UHF radio systems selected for this project will establish and maintain the command radio link with simultaneous voice and IP data from dismounted troops up to the platoon and company level.

The systems concerned are handheld (SDHR/SOVERON HR) and vehicular radios (SDTR/SOVERON VR) that are interoperable with the German Armed Forces joint radio system (SVFuA, series name: SOVERON D) that has already been commissioned by the Bundeswehr and the SDR waveforms procured with it. The first batch of SOVERON D commissioned for command vehicles will be delivered to the troops in the first half of 2020.

This interplay is also of great importance for future viability in the context of the Digitalization of Land Based Operations/Tactical Edge Networking (D-LBO/TEN) major project for highly secure and trusted interoperable connections that will only come into effect after VJTF 2023.

SOVERON D also provides backward compatibility with the analog SEM radio infrastructure that will be in service for some time yet even though it is obsolete. This capability was also recently demonstrated in further tests.

"With our innovative overall approach – SOVERON – we provide national trusted solutions that can be tailored to the customer's needs but which, due to their open architecture, are compatible with established radio systems and architectures and, at the same time, will be viable in the future," Mr. Jäschke continued.

"It is an honor for us to bring into operation by the troops the latest state of the art for the VJTF. By doing so, we are not only paving the way for the next steps of D-LBO/TEN and for further strategic projects of the Bundeswehr.

There are also significant synergies with the Telecommunications of the Army (TK A) project in Switzerland, comparable to the networking part of D-LBO/TEN. We are in the final round of a multi-year competition here."

Rohde & Schwarz

The Rohde & Schwarz technology group develops, produces and markets innovative communications, information and security products for professional users. The group's test and measurement, broadcast and media, aerospace | defense | security, networks and cybersecurity business fields address many different industry and government-sector market segments.

On June 30, 2018, Rohde & Schwarz had approximately 11,500 employees. The independent group achieved a net revenue of approximately EUR 2 billion in the 2017/2018 fiscal year (July to June). The company has its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Internationally, it has subsidiaries in more than 70 countries, with regional hubs in Asia and America.

R&S® is a registered trademark of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co.KG.

View source version on Rohde & Schwarz : https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/tr/about/news-press/details/press-room/press-releases-detailpages/german-army-relies-on-rohde-schwarz-press-release-detailpage_229356-663180.html

https://www.epicos.com/article/449211/german-army-relies-rohde-and-schwarz

 

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An addendum to that list might be the Oct. 21, 2009, flight of a Northwest Airlines Airbus A320 that continued on past Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (KMSP), its intended terminus. Early speculation was that both pilots fell asleep, but the NTSB later determined that they were using their laptop computers while discussing the airline’s crew scheduling process. The NTSB report concluded, “The computers not only restricted the pilots’ direct visual scan of all cockpit instruments but also further focused their attention on non-operational issues, contributing to a reduction in their monitoring activities, loss of situational awareness and lack of awareness of the passage of time.” They were only alerted to their situation when a flight attendant asked about their arrival time. Although there has only been a single reported accident involving internet distraction, I suspected there have been many close calls. Yet a scan of thousands of NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System reports turned up only 243 incidents containing the word “internet” and of those only five involved distractions. And of those, three involved air traffic control towers or centers. The two pilot reports were both of captains complaining about their first officers. Since there has been only one solitary accident from texting, cellphone use or internet access, should we conclude the risk is negligible? Or have we just been lucky all these years? Internet Temptations I’ve noticed a common theme among many cockpit internet users: Once allowed a limited number of acceptable uses, they gradually so expand the list that any limit becomes meaningless. I am worried about seeing this happen in my flight department because so many aviators I thought impervious to temptation have succumbed. The list of legitimate internet uses is a slippery slope indeed: (1) Email and texts. It can’t hurt to check now and then, especially considering many of these are work related. A message from a family member might be urgent. Or there may be a job opening you’ve been working on. Opportunity, they say, only knocks once. (2) News. Wouldn’t it be useful to know the president is showing up at or near your destination at about the same time? Indeed, there is a lot of news that can impact the success of your trip: blackouts, floods, earthquakes and forest fires, to name just a few. News can affect your livelihood as well. Just because you are flying doesn’t mean your stock portfolio needs to suffer. (3) Personal self-development. Some call it surfing and others call it browsing. Perhaps we can call it education. Why not spend those idle hours at altitude learning to be a better pilot? There are lots of good aviation websites and “e-zines” ready for that very purpose. Who couldn’t benefit from a how-to in the most recent bow hunting magazine? (4) Entertainment. A happy pilot is a safe pilot, everyone knows. (If they don’t know that, they should.) As aviators we are professional multi-taskers and switching between a 4 DVD set of “Godfather” movies and your oceanic crossing post position plotting is child’s play for any seasoned international pilot. I am still a few months away from delivery of my new airplane, equipped with Ka-band high-speed internet. I am told we will be able to download a complete weather package with satellite imagery just as easily as we can stream the latest blockbuster from Hollywood. My initial attitude is to forbid anything remotely connected to entertainment or personal communications while in flight. But so many others have felt this way when starting out on the cockpit information superhighway and have given in. Will I be next? Advantages of Cockpit Internet The pilots of my flight department were starting to suspect that I had already made a decision about internet usage, focusing only on the negative. On our last flight to Europe, my cockpit partner wondered out loud how nice it would be to have real-time weather for the Continent. Flying from Florida to the Northeast, he wondered aloud about ground stops in the New York area. His hints were obvious, of course. But they had the intended effect. I needed to explore the pluses as well as the minuses. Our flight department is paperless: Each pilot has an iPad with an international cellular account and we do not spare expenses when it comes to quality applications. There are a number of apps that we use during flight that would be even more useful if connected to the internet. We also use several websites that are only accessible with an active internet connection. ARINCDirect. We do all of our flight planning through Collins’ ARINCDirect application. The company’s iPad app gives us access to updated winds, turbulence and icing reports; destination weather reports; updated NOTAMs; flight hazards; TFRs; and other reports we normally get before departure but never while en route. Having all of this real-time information can be a useful decision-making tool. ForeFlight. Our favorite weather tool is the suite of imagery available in ForeFlight. Here you will find just about everything available in the U.S. government-provided weather sites, but they seem to download more quickly and getting to the page you want is easier. Weather charts are available for most of the Americas, Europe, the Atlantic and the Pacific. MyRadar NOAA Weather Radar. If you are tracking a system along your flight path or at your destination, the MyRadar app is a good one to keep open because it updates quickly and the continuous loop gives a good sense of what the weather is doing and how it is moving. Turbulence Forecast. This app is our “go-to” source of U.S. turbulence information. The information is available in some of the other applications, but this is a quick way to get it, if that is all you want. We normally update these applications prior to engine start, so as to have the most recent information. We also use a number of internet websites that are only available to us through our cellular connections; they are inaccessible in flight without an internet connection. We frequently check http://www.faa.gov for airport status and delays. And when things in the national airspace get really messy, we check http://www.fly.faa.gov/ois/ for any ground stops or airspace flow programs. I was starting to soften on the subject of internet access, thinking maybe a very strict policy of only using a specified list of applications and websites might do the trick. On our way back from Europe last month I noticed the other pilot nod off once and I have to admit I felt the urge as well. We got a “Resume Normal Speed” message through data link, a first for us both, and that set off a mad scramble through our available resources to find out what it meant. Once we landed, I quickly found out — using the internet — that the ICAO EUR/NAT office had just released a new Ops Bulletin allowing “Operations Without an Assigned Fixed Speed (OWAFS) in the NAT.” (If you haven’t heard of OWAFS, check out NAT OPS Bulletin 2019_001.) Thinking about the flight, I realized that with an internet connection we could have taken advantage of the resume normal speed message. But I also realized that our bout of sleepiness was instantly cured by the task at hand. Having something engaging to do solved any drowsiness for the remainder of the flight. I remember more than a few oceanic crossings when the urge to nod off was cured by having an interesting discussion topic come up. Perhaps there was something to be said for allowing other types of internet access. Our Cockpit Internet SOP Our team concluded that we should take advantage of the great situational awareness afforded by having internet access in the cockpit, as well as the ability to keep pilots from nodding off on those long oceanic trips. But we needed to avoid the distractions caused by keeping connected with email, text messages, sports, news and all other things pulling our brains out of the cockpit. We mulled this over and came up with our first cockpit internet SOP: (1) Two types of cockpit internet usage are permitted: flight-related and non-flight related. Flight-related usage pertains to internet access that has a direct bearing on the trip currently in progress. This category includes downloading weather products, making passenger arrangements, adjusting subsequent flight plans or anything needed to assure the success of the current trip. Everything else, even if tied to company business or aviation, is considered non-flight related. (2) No internet access is permitted during critical phases of flight, which we defined as any flight time below 10,000 ft. (except while in cruise flight with the autopilot engaged), or whenever within 1,000 ft. of a level-off, even above 10,000 ft. (3) Non-flight-related internet access is only permitted during flights with more than 1 hr. in cruise flight, and is limited to 5 min. continuous time per pilot each hour. (4) Any internet access (flight- or non-flight-related) can only be made by one pilot at a time and will be treated as if that pilot was absent from the flight deck. Before “departing,” the pilot flying (PF) will give a situational awareness briefing. For example: “The autopilot is engaged using long-range navigation. We are in cruise condition talking to New York center. You are cleared off.” Upon completion, the PF will again brief the returning pilot, e.g.: “There have been no changes to aircraft configuration or navigation, but we are now talking to Boston Center and have been given a pilot’s discretion descent to flight level three two zero.” (5) All internet-capable devices will be placed in “airplane mode” prior to engine start and will remain so until after engine shutdown. Audible notifications will be silenced for the duration of the flight. Pilots will ensure devices are not allowed to download software updates that may restrict internet bandwidth needed by the passengers or flight-related cockpit use. (6) Crews will add a discussion of cockpit distractions to each day’s post-flight critique. Our traditional “What’s the DEAL?” check will become the “Were we IDEAL?” check: I — Internet and other distractions: Did we live up to our SOP? D — Departure: How did everything go from planning to wheels in the well? E — En route: How was the en route portion? A — Arrival: How did we handle the approach, landing and shutdown? L — Logbook: Was there anything to report as far as maintenance or other record-keeping requirements? So, the deed is done. We created our first cockpit internet SOP just in time to receive our new airplane. Not every flight department is this proactive. But even those that start with a well-intentioned internet SOP soon seem to abandon it because the lure of connectedness is too great. I hope to avoid this and have come up with a way to give us a “reality check” after we’ve grown accustomed to our new connected cockpit lives. We’ll add inflight internet usage as a topic to our quarterly safety meetings. In addition, I have asked each pilot to come up with a list of safety of flight risks that we “promise” to avoid. I will put these in a sealed envelope and one year after delivery we will see how we made out. I am hoping those risks remain avoided. If not, we may have to rethink all of this. https://aviationweek.com/business-aviation/connected-cockpit-inflight-internet-access-safety-tool-or-hazard?

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