Tactical Airborne Navigation and Communication Systems for Aerospace & Defense Applications

Multi-Domain Battlespace Connectivity for Utah Air National Guard

Collins Aerospace has collaborated with the Utah Air National Guard to demonstrate how innovative integrated solutions can bring joint connectivity and edge computing to meet emerging Joint All Domain Command and Control needs on the KC-135 By DA Staff / 26 Aug 2021
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Collins Aerospace has successfully demonstrated advanced communication, mission computing and sensor technologies to support Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) and Advanced Battle Management (ABMS) initiatives for the Utah Air National Guard at the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The exercise showed how integrated technologies and joint connectivity can provide warfighters with the actionable data and increased situational awareness they need to make informed, split-second decisions in evolving threat conditions against cyber-sophisticated adversaries.

The demonstration took place on a Block 45 retrofitted KC-135 featuring Collins’ Real-Time Information in the Cockpit (RTIC) system and included live-fly elements that simulated a forward deployed element as the primary information gathering source and an airborne relay element. Once the forward deployed element identified and processed key target information, it transmitted collected data over the Collins Tactical Targeting Networking Technology (TTNT) mesh network directly to the flight deck.

Collins’ Rosetta message processing software and Multiple Level Security (MLS) system captured this data and encrypted the incoming messages to ensure they retained their respective security levels. Then the software seamlessly sent the messages to those leading and/or executing the mission in the moment.

The ability to distribute secure data to those in different security areas is a key differentiator of the Collins MLS system and solves a major challenge in maintaining secure dataflow communication across the congested battlespace.

Collins also adapted a Modular Open Systems Architecture (MOSA) approach with its mission processor to showcase an improvement in situational awareness with its next generation of cockpit integration, edge computing, and containerization. 

The entire demonstration built upon the foundational capabilities of the RTIC program-of-record to provide increased joint connectivity and improved situation awareness technology for aircrews at the tactical edge.

“We’ve got the technology infrastructure to provide both Command and Control elements and those executing the mission from the cockpit with the actionable intelligence that’s so critical to the success of CJADC2 and ABMS,” said Elaine Bitonti, vice president, CJADC2 Demonstration and Experimentation for Collins Aerospace. 

“And we can do it securely, at multiple data throughput levels, and instantly – or at what our military partners call ‘the speed of relevance.’”

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