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 signs agreement with German, Canadian partners to test alternative fuels

NASA has signed separate agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) flights are set to...
 
 
afrc-x56c

X-56A testbed arrives at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich The diminutive X-56A Multi-Use Technology Testbed, mounted on a small trailer, is pulled away from its home for the past year, Hangar 4305 at Edwards’ North Base. The latest in a long series...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tony Landis

Recalling a record: X-43A Scramjet set new hypersonic record a decade ago

NASA photograph by Jim Ross The second X-43A hypersonic research aircraft and its modified Pegasus booster rocket accelerate into the stratosphere after launch from NASA’s B-52B launch aircraft over the Pacific Ocean on M...
 

 

NASA begins search for potential SOFIA partners

NASA issued a Request for Information March 31 soliciting potential partners interested in using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft for scientific investigations or for other potential uses. NASA’s fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress calls for SOFIA to be placed in storage next year unless the agency’s contribution to the project can...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

LVAC: Advancing technology readiness of SLS adaptive controls

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas NASA Armstrong’s highly modified F/A-18A Full Scale Advanced Systems Testbed aircraft No. 853 validated the effectiveness of the Adaptive Augmenting Controller developed by NASA Marshall en...
 
 

DARPAs role to change whats possible, director says

As part of the Defense Department’s science and technology community, the role of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is to change what’s possible, the DARPA director said March 26. DARPA makes pivotal early investments that allow the department to “take big steps forward in our national security capabilities, Arati Prabhakar told members of the...
 




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>