Hanscom Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Key Joint STARS equipment upgrades in the works
 
Photos 
Evaluating equipment
MELBOURNE, Fla. - Members of the 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 2, try out new 27-inch display Joint STARS operator workstations in the Northrop Grumman-Melbourne integration lab. The Electronic Systems Center is working to upgrade critical mission equipment, such as the workstations and the operating system, on the Joint STARS platform. (Courtesy photo)
Download HiRes
Key Joint STARS equipment upgrades in the works

Posted 3/26/2012   Updated 3/27/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


3/26/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Electronic Systems Center is working to upgrade critical mission equipment on the E-8 Joint STARS aircraft and recent flight testing is proving successful and advancing the program.

Joint STARS is an airborne battle management, command and control and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform that provides troops on the ground situational awareness of the battlefield. It has the ability to look at a more than 19,000 square mile area.

"When the Joint STARS aircraft were delivered in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the technology was state-of-the-art," said Michael LaFosse, Joint STARS Prime Mission Equipment Diminishing Manufacturing Sources (PME DMS) program manager. "But times and technologies have changed and we need to keep pace, so we're working to solve DMS issues."

Also, although the aircraft was originally designed to look for large movements of troops, it is now being used in a much broader range of activities, making its processing technology a key feature which needs to be kept up to date.

The first phase of the program involves replacing the Radar Airborne Signal Processor, or RASP, which allows raw radar data to get converted to useable, actionable data. The second phase involves replacing the operator workstations, upgrading to a new network that is 110 times faster than the current system, providing more bandwidth and improved displays and allowing for future technology insertion at lower costs.

"We are putting in the new infrastructure and equipment that will allow us the capability to bring in what basically could be considered the 'apps' we need," said Mark Driscoll, senior technical advisor from MITRE. "And this will provide the operators with improved situational awareness."

Four successful RASP flight tests have been completed, and flight testing for the new workstations will begin in the spring. Testing will continue until September when the program will transition to the production phase.

Operators also believe the upgrades are needed for the aircraft.

"The changes will allow us to increase our battle management capabilities by allowing us to monitor more information," said Capt. Daniel Kreher, Joint STARS senior director assigned to the Joint Test Force in Melbourne, Fla. "The program shows a lot of potential, and as operators, we're excited about the overall capabilities it will give us."

Program personnel have been striving to ensure this vital work gets accomplished.

"I'm immensely proud of how our government and industry team streamlined the PME DMS design to reduce our production costs and remain on schedule," said Lt. Col. Chris Ellis, E-8 Modernization Branch chief. "This program is a monumental stepping stone for our warfighter and sets the stage for the next decade."

The Joint STARS fleet is operated by crews from the Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing, the Air Force's newly activated 461st Air Control Wing and the Army's Intelligence and Security Command 138 Military Intelligence Company, all based at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Since 2001, the crews have flown more than 70,000 hours in combat missions in support of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Hanscom AFB

ima cornerSearch

tabMission NewsRSS feed 
Register for AFA Cyber Workshop

Fraud working group training scheduled

Air Force moves to replace AWACS radio system  1

Hanscom awards contract to improve deployable landing system capabilities

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

AWACS reservists team up with E-3 program managers

New AFMC mission, vision statements emphasize agility

GPS technology helps Hanscom improve air traffic management

tabHanscom NewsRSS feed 
AFLCMC-Hanscom September promotions

Hanscom extends SAPR services to Air Force civilians

Poling looks to leave positive impact

SecAF speaks on acquisition, partnerships and priorities at Hanscom

SecAF visits Hanscom

SecAF visiting Hanscom today; all-call scheduled

AF announces staff sergeant results

Hanscom to host ball to celebrate AF birthday

Dining options expanded for base personnel

Degree programs offered at Hanscom Ed Center

tabNews Briefs and HappeningsRSS feed 
Upcoming events

News in Brief

School Notes  1

tabCommentaryRSS feed 
Roadway responsibilities extend to all

Be proud of your role this Independence Day

tabPhoto FeatureRSS feed 
Photo feature: This week at Hanscom, Aug. 28

tabFeaturesRSS feed 
Overcoming adversity leads to promising Air Force future  1

Airman grows family through international adoption


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act