Airborne Narrowband Type III Encrypted Radio Integration
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) Engineering Services Division (ESD) provides a variety of engineering and technology services to aircraft product lines, including Combat ID, Cryptography, and COMSEC support. The RT-5000 multiband radio is a commercially available APCO Project 25 (P-25) radio set that the USCG modified to meet specific frequency, Guard Monitoring, DCS Channel 70, and surface force/first responder interoperability requirements. When this newly-integrated and deployed multiband radio system did not operate as advertised and was susceptible to VHF interference in high RF density environments, the ALC ESD was responsible for fixing the problem.
CDS2 performed extensive communications engineering studies, TEMPEST, and prototype testing in the laboratory, in flight, and in high VHF interference areas to verify system component performance and validate functional performance at the integrated system level. We developed an integrated test plan for the H-60 and H-65 rotary wing programs to validate the operation of the RT-5000 (5011 and 8211) against known and reported integration discrepancies, interpreted all findings and presented our conclusions to government personnel, who subsequently resolved all integration issues involving multiple OEMs and integration providers. We also trained military personnel to load complex cryptographic equipment. As a result of our efforts, all integration and other technology issues were resolved, which allowed classified and sensitive Homeland Security operations to be seamlessly coordinated between all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aviation and surface forces.