Tech

August 24, 2012

New CSEL capabilities provide additional communication options

Tags:
Patty Welsh
Hanscom AFB, Mass.
Courtesy photograph
The Combat Survivor Evader Locator Joint Program Office at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is working on new capabilities. The improvements will enhance CSEL communications between isolated personnel, as portrayed in the above photo during a demonstration, and rescue assets.

Recent improvements to the capabilities of the Combat Survivor Evader Locator radio are enhancing communications between an isolated person and rescue assets.

CSEL is a hand-held survival radio used with base stations located across the globe that provides critical search and rescue infrastructure for the joint services. Currently, it provides over-the-horizon and line-of-sight voice capabilities.

There are two new capabilities. The first is terminal area communications. TAC provides secure line-of-sight data from a pilot to an isolated person. An isolated person is someone such as a downed pilot or other combat force member who gets separated from their unit.

“Basically, TAC provides the ability for the pilot flying above and the isolated person, or IP, to text message each other securely,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Renner, CSEL test engineer.

Previously, the only option for direct communications with rescue assets was through voice transmissions.

The TAC improvement is two-fold. The radio enhancement is accomplished through a software update that completed development in the spring and is currently fielding. A hardware component, which is located onboard the rescue aircraft and is known as the CSEL interrogator module, is schedule to field later this year starting with A-10s.

“There’s never been anything like it for search and rescue,” said Renner. “The pilots we’ve worked with are really excited about it.”

Testing was done by A-10 pilots at the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command Test Center in Tucson, Ariz. These pilots were in the process of testing a series of upgrades to the A-10 operational flight program.

Because the group was already performing testing, the team at Hanscom was able to piggyback the new CSEL capabilities into that and therefore did not have to expend any additional funds for testing.

The second capability is terminal area guidance. TAG allows a rescue pilot to “ping” the radio of an isolated person.

From that ping, through onboard distance measuring equipment, the pilot is provided range and bearing to the location of the isolated person.
“This is important in an area where hostile forces may be trying to deny attempts at rescue,” said Renner.

The pilots who performed the testing were excited about the added functionality.

In the case of the TAG, they said it was more accurate than previous radios, according to Renner. However, for the CSEL team, it’s always about trying to get the isolated person back with their unit.

“These capabilities can reduce rescue time and give IPs another option to get home safely,” said Renner. “And that’s our ultimate goal.”

The field upgrade began this summer and will retrofit all Air Force radios with the TAC and TAG capabilities. For the future, the TAC capability will be integrated into other platforms performing the search and rescue mission, such as the HH-60 helicopter.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA photograph by Chris Rink

NASA flies stormy Kansas Skies this summer for science

NASA photograph by Chris Rink Richard Ferrare, a senior research scientist from the Atmospheric Sciences Division at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., monitors the data input from the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Exper...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

DC-8 reaches milestone

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas NASA’s DC-8 makes a low approach to Edwards Air Force Base. NASA’s DC-8 Flying Laboratory recently reached its third decade of delivering groundbreaking science. As a way to celebrate...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tom Tschida

NASA Armstrong leads team to test effects of volcanic ash on aircraft engines

NASA photograph by Tom Tschida Volcanic ash is sprayed into one of the F117 engines of a C-17 during the final phase of the Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) project July 9 at Edwards. The VIPR team, comprised of NA...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA, partners test unmanned aircraft systems

NASA photograph NASA’s Ikhana is being used to test a system that will allow uncrewed aircraft to fly routine operations within the National Airspace System. NASA, working with government and industry partners, is testing...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA-developed air traffic management tool flies into use

NASA photograph NASA Future Flight Central is a national Air Traffic Control/Air Traffic Management (ATC/ATM) simulation facility. The two-story facility offers a 360-degree full-scale, real-time simulation of an airport, where...
 
 
NASA photograph

Robotics teams prepare to compete for $1.5 million in NASA Challenge

NASA photograph The Los Angeles team Survey’s robot is seen as it conducts a demonstration of the level two challenge during the 2014 NASA Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot Challenge, Thursday, June 12, 2014, at t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>