Thursday, September 08, 2011

Interesting Document on USAF HF-GCS Evolution

This link came by way of UDXF.

It's for a .pdf file showing what looks like a PowerPoint presentation regarding the US Air Force's communications on its High Frequency Global Communications System (HF-GCS). The presentation was made by Rockwell/ Collins for a 2010 conference.

Much of the content is maps and charts, and it is best to get this file and look at it.

But here are some interesting facts about the HF-GCS:

1. "F.k.a. SCOPE Command." I take this to mean the SCOPE Command program was indeed an upgrade in HF-GCS, not a separate radio network.  [SCOPE was an acronym for System Capable Of Planned Expansion -Hugh.]

2. 13 4 kW ground stations worldwide, with separate tx/rx sites.

3. 2 central control points: NCS-East at Andrews AFB, NCS-West at Grand Forks AFB, ND (under development). [????? GFAFB is currently the 319th Air Base Wing, and is being converted to Global Hawk surveillance drones. -Hugh]

4. The lead command is now the Air Force Space Command. [Again, ?????]

5.The document still shows McLellan (near Sacramento, CA) as "West Coast," even though it does ID as "McLellan." The station in the Falklands is listed as "South Atlantic (UK Station)," and it does not show on the coverage map. It appears to remote to Croughton.

6. Mission list still includes the functions of the previous Mystic Star and SITFAA.  Newer capabilities are shown as Link-11 for the US Navy, and support of both test ranges for the Space Command.

7. Circuits between control points and stations are apparently migrating to voice/ audio/ data over IP.

8. It appears that the long range plan includes digital voice and a replacement for ANDVT which would allow end-to-end encryption from telephone to radio back to telephone using a single system.