1 October 2001

Defence moves to integrate communications network

Queensland-based Braintree Communications has developed software and hardware for the integration of the entire Australian Defence Force (ADF) communications network. The ADF contracted Boeing to provide the communications network and Ericsson, supporting Boeing in the upgrade, approached Braintree to provide specialist communications expertise for the project.

The project will enable enhanced communications between all elements of the ADF, including Navy, Air Force and Army. Previously, each force relied on its own communications network.

“Ericsson approached us to provide a customised multi-channel synchronous terminal server in a very tight deadline. Braintree has experience in similar products and a proven technology base from previous solutions developed for other major clients,” Peter Hall, Chief Operating Officer for Braintree Communications said.

“The upgrade is designed to allow seamless integration of diverse high frequency radio communication equipment used by Australian military personnel,” Peter said.

Braintree has been able to supply a customised product for the Defence project in just nine weeks. The product met the project specification requirements and also was within budget.

Braintree designed, developed and produced key hardware and software to create the unified network for the ADF. As part of this consolidation of existing voice and data communications methods, Braintree developed the data conversion protocol and conversion equipment while Ericsson the voice communication.

“Our challenge was to convert complex, unstructured signals in a manner that can be delivered over a variety of contemporary networks. This needed to be achieved without access to the original data configuration,” explained Peter.

There are a number of key features to the Braintree solution. The server allows up to 8 synchronous devices (terminals) to be connected to a Local Area Network (LAN). The product specifically supports unformatted data, which is not found in other synchronous terminal servers.

Other unique features include the ability for multi-channelling – to simultaneously broadcast the same information to multiple synchronous ports. The customised product also supports remote management and remote uploading of new operating software.


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