Radio Chassis Eliminates Communication Gaps in Military Operations

Tactical, mobile PacStar Radio Chassis speed and simplify the bridging of analog radio and IP communications at the edge of the battlefield By Joseph Macey / 10 Feb 2023
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Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has expanded its support for deployed US Department of Defense (DoD), civilian, and coalition partner radio systems with a rugged chassis family designed to speed and simplify the integration and deployment of heterogeneous radio types.

Available in three and four-radio configurations, the new PacStar Radio Chassis are COTS-based, modular, tactical and expeditionary, rugged radio, voice, and IP integrated solutions.

The chassis use radio brackets, available off the shelf or custom designed, to support a wide array of radio integration use cases, including legacy Radio Over Internet Protocol (RoIP) integration, mobile ad hoc network (MANET) integration, and tactical data link interoperability. PacStar Radio Chassis can be used in conjunction with the PacStar 463 RoIP module to cross-band radios to eliminate communications gaps caused by the use of disparate radio systems in military and homeland defense operations. 

Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division, said: “A common hurdle, whether in the battlefield or during first responder civil operations, is the communications gap that results from the use of multiple different radio types in the field. Our new PacStar Radio Chassis expands the existing PacStar Modular Radio Center to solve that problem by easing and speeding the deployment of disparate radio types in a compact, rugged common enclosure, with support for the most popular DoD and civilian radios. Whether a public emergency where police, fire, and other services need to talk with each other, or at the tactical edge where our warfighters need to communicate with coalition forces, radio interoperability helps to ensure mission success.”

The new PacStar Radio Chassis share the same external dimensions as Curtiss-Wright’s popular PacStar 400-Series Smart Chassis and can populate one half of a PacStar Standardized A-Kit/Vehicle Envelope (SAVE)-compatible enclosure or any of the other PacStar 400-Series mounting and transport solutions for person-carry, vehicle mount, or tactical semi-fixed applications. The chassis can be used standalone or to extend the capabilities of a PacStar Modular Radio Center (MRC) system, leveraging the PacStar MRC’s PacStar 463 RoIP/Voice module to translate disparate radio types and provide voice gateway services to tactical IP networks.

Curtiss-Wright has established partnerships with leading suppliers to further extend the capability of its deployed radio solutions. For example, a PacStar Radio Chassis can leverage a PacStar 463 running SCI TOCNET inside of the PacStar MRC or can pair with a PacStar 451 server running REDCOM Sigma, or Motorola WAVE. Applications include analog-to-RoIP use cases such as voice convergence, network extension, and radio cross-banding. The PacStar Radio Chassis can also integrate MANET radios, for inter-team and WAN access, into tactical IP networks. The chassis can also support the translation of multiple tactical data link (TDL) formats between ground/air/sea assets.

Wide Range of Configuration Options

Three variants of the compact PacStar Radio Chassis are currently available, and include the PacStar Powered 4-Radio Chassis, PacStar Powered 3-Radio Chassis, and PacStar Unpowered 4-Radio Chassis. Powered chassis include a single-slot integrated power system. The rugged, high-capacity power supply runs on a wide range of worldwide AC power, or DC power, providing power to radios via user accessible rugged cabling in the rear of each chassis. PacStar Unpowered Radio Chassis are intended to host additional radios while receiving their power from a powered PacStar Radio Chassis or PacStar MRC system.

PacStar Radio Brackets

PacStar Radio Brackets are custom-designed to mount compatible tactical or civilian radios and include backup batteries and radio connectors for voice and data ports. PacStar Radio Backets are removable from the PacStar Radio Chassis while radios are in operation, utilizing integrated backup batteries. Brackets include the ViaSat BATS-D AN/PRC-161 handheld Link 16 radio, the Persistent Systems MPU5 handheld Radio, and the L3Harris AN-PRC-163 handheld radio. PacStar Radio Brackets are currently in development for a wide variety of additional radio types, including the AN/PRC-167, AN/PRC-148C, Silvus StreamCaster, DTC SDR-H2, and TrellisWare TW-900.

Find military communication companies and suppliers of military radio systems for defense, including low frequency (LF, VLF, ELF) and high frequency (HF, UHF, VHF) radio for BLOS and LOS communications >>

Posted by Joseph Macey Connect & Contact
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