IP-based voice communications system

IP-based voice communications systemThe R&S®VCS-4G IP-based voice communications system is a flexible and cost-effective solution for all ATC voice communications needs. It meets established requirements for availability, reliability and safety in ATC as well as the growing need for dynamic ATC scenarios with network-based sharing and distribution of operational resources. Built on state-of-the-art, future-ready technology, the R&S®VCS-4G ensures protection of investment and also provides next-generation ATC features.

The R&S®VCS-4G has been designed especially for civil ATC and defense (AD) deployments. One of the key advantages of this fully IP-based communications system is its very high scalability. It allows system deployments ranging from a single controller working position (CWP) to full scale area control centers (ACC) using the same technology and type of equipment. Additionally, the system has been designed to provide full redundancy, including distributed deployment over various sites for geographic redundancy.

Features and benefits

Future-ready technology

The R&S®VCS-4G features a future-ready, distributed architecture. It is in line with the latest industry requirements and contributes to modernizing air traffic control by making use of IP technology engineered at its best. Due to its flexible and distributed network design and extensive configuration possibilities, the R&S®VCS-4G supports dynamic sharing of radio and telephony resources. This feature permits the subsequent implementation of modern operational concepts for ATC such as load balancing, resource sharing, geographic distribution, virtual center and remote tower.

Reduction of system costs

The Rohde & Schwarz product portfolio provides solutions for all ATC voice communications needs – from the CWP microphone to the radio and the antenna system. This eliminates complex and costly integration work and helps ATC authorities to keep project risks to a minimum. The R&S®VCS-4G also supports third-party radios with E&M, E1 or VoIP interfaces in line with customer requirements.

Smooth integration into infrastructure

Safeguarding investments made in existing radio infrastructures is a key issue when designing the migration to a VoIP system. The R&S®VCS-4G allows ATC authorities to continue working with their installed base of conventional radios by providing different types of radio gateways for interworking with non-VoIP radios. Interworking with radios with analog or E1 audio interfaces is supported.

Comprehensive system management

The R&S®RCMS II software application suite is available to remotely control R&S®Series4200, R&S®M3SR Series4400 and R&S®M3SR Series4100 radios. It also provides monitoring for these Rohde & Schwarz radios and R&S®VCS-4G components. SNMP-capable devices can also be monitored, so that in ATC installations based on Rohde & Schwarz radios and the R&S®VCS-4G VCS, all components can be conveniently monitored from a single central system. Service engineers only need one tool to monitor all important devices in their ATC voice communications network, including radios, CWPs and other SNMP-capable devices, such as supported Ethernet switches. This results in cost reduction due to less equipment and lower training efforts, as there is no need to install multiple types of monitoring software for different types of equipment

Next generation ATC features

To optimize safety and cost structures and to further improve the ATC services to airlines, the concept of resource sharing can evolve into the advanced concept of virtual centers: two originally independent centers are defined as mutual backup for each other with an engineered IP network as the common link between them. In case of catastrophic events at one center, the second center can take over the communications operations of the disabled facility, using the still unaffected air-to-ground and ground-to-ground resources. Virtual centers bring substantial economic benefits to the ANSP community. The R&S®VCS-4G with its full IP system architecture and distributed infrastructure based on the latest ED-137 standard supports resource sharing and synchronization between different voice communications systems at different geographic locations as a prerequisite for virtual centers.

Key facts

  • Support for modern services beyond pure voice communications (e.g. video, text messaging, SCADA interworking)

  • End-to-end IP technology from the CWP all the way to the radio while addressing increased safety requirements

  • Single central monitoring system with integrated view of R&S®VCS-4G components and Rohde & Schwarz radios

  • High flexibility and customizability to specifically meet different operational needs

  • Large portfolio of gateways to support different imigration scenarios from TDM to VoIP

  • Intelligent leveraging of market-leading commercial off-the- shelf (COTS) products for reduced system costs

  • EUROCAE ED-137 adherent solution enabling interworking with other vendors’ equipment or neighboring ANSPs

  • Distributed system architecture to provide high availability and cost-effective, pay-as-you-grow scalability