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Ground/Air Communications Systems

EG&G Technical Services provides complete, turnkey Ground-to-Air communications systems for applications such as tactical aircraft control or commercial air traffic control. These systems are shelterized for easy deployment and include multiple radios operating in the VHF and UHF bands. The systems use innovative interference reduction measures to allow operation of multiple transceivers with frequency separation of less than 1 MHz. These systems can be interfaced with ground-based C3 systems to provide radio access by remote operators via telephone lines, microwave, or other means. Interfaces to telephone networks are provided. Recording capabilities are provided, with instant playback, either locally or remotely. Built-in test capabilities are available if required. Uninterruptible and standby power systems are provided, and the complete package is tested in accordance with specifications before delivery. Site preparation and installation may be provided as needed.


For many years, EG&G has been in the business of providing custom communications systems to Government users, both domestic and foreign. These systems are typically provided as turn-key, with design, assembly, and deployment all provided by EG&G. Most of the equipment is commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) with custom components provided by EG&G as required to meet the needs of the program. EG&G has an enviable track record of providing new systems within schedule and budget constraints. Many systems are provided on a firm-fixed price basis.

Typical System Features and Functions:

Typical ground-to-air communications centers include the following features:

  • 5 to 10 VHF/UHF radios – Typically the radios are transceivers, but separate transmitters and receivers may be provided in certain circumstances. The radios may be equipped for ECCM and encryption if required.
  • High power amplifiers as required
  • Interference cancellation provisions to mitigate co-site interference. This may include automatic bandpass filters, active cancellation, distance, etc. These provisions are designed as required so that any number of radios may be in use simultaneously, usually with frequency spacing less than 1 MHz.
  • Multiple ground-based C3 interfaces – Simultaneous or selective access is provided as required. These interfaces allow operators in such systems to access any or all radios via landline, microwave link, or other suitable audio channels.
  • Telephone interfaces are provided for radio access or for communication with technicians in the ground-to-air center.
  • Local, e.g. up to 5 km distant, operator access positions – These positions are independent of the C3 system interfaces.
  • Access to the same radio by multiple operators is arbitrated on a first-come-first-served basis. Several operators may monitor a conversation on one radio, but only one may transmit at a time.
  • The normal range for communications is 200 nautical miles so long as the aircraft is at an altitude that provides line-of-site to the ground-to-air system.
  • Equipment is all contained in shelters – This provides protection from the environment and air conditioning and ventilation for improved equipment performance and operator comfort. The equipment is mounted in standard racks mounted on shock absorbers to ensure that they are not damaged during transportation. The shelters may be transported by truck, rail, or air. Transport provisions are also provided for the associated masts, antennas, and generators. The entire system may be deployed in a tactical situation within just a few hours.

  • Uninterruptible and standby power sources Such power systems allow continued operation in the event of a utility power failure.
  • Built-in Test capabilities are provided to ensure that equipment failures are detected and recognized quickly. In such cases, alarm annunciation may be local or remote.

Typical applications include tactical or commercial air traffic control from remote locations. Once deployed, these systems allow operators in central locations to communicate with aircraft operating in the locale where the ground-to-air center is deployed as if they were there. The systems may be designed for unattended operation if required.


Complete training is available, including operator, and operational, intermediate and even depot level training. EG&G can also provide contractor maintenance support up to depot level support.

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