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/Boeing image

NASA wraps up first green aviation tests on Boeing ecoDemonstrator

NASA/Boeing image NASA’s recent green aviation tests included the Active Flow Control Enhanced Vertical Tail Flight Experiment, for which 31 tiny devices called sweeping jet actuators were installed on the tail of a Boein...
 
 
onr-locust

LOCUST: Autonomous, swarming UAVs fly into the future

A new era in autonomy and unmanned systems for naval operations is on the horizon, as officials at the¬†Office of Naval Research announced April 14 recent technology demonstrations of swarming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) ‚Ä...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

Second X-56A MUTT makes first flight

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich NASA researchers are using the X-56A, a low-cost, modular, remotely piloted aerial vehicle, to explore the behavior of lightweight, flexible aircraft structures. Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong ...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Schaefer takes command of 412th Test Wing

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander (left), presents the 412th Test Wing guidon to Brig. Gen. Carl Schaefer signifying the beginning of his new command at the 412th ...
 
 

NASA creates partnership to advance composite materials for aircraft of future

NASA has established a public-private partnership with five organizations to advance knowledge about composite materials that could improve the performance of future aircraft. Composites are innovative new materials for building aircraft that can enhance strength while remaining lightweight. The agency selected the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Va., to manage administration of the...
 
 

NASA awards IT contracts to 118 small, disadvantaged businesses

NASA has awarded 118 contracts to small, disadvantaged businesses under Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP V), a multi-award Government-Wide Acquisition Contract vehicle focused on information technology products and product-based services. Of these SEWP V contracts, 14 were awarded to businesses operating in historically underutilized business zones, 25 contracts were awarded to b...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>