Defence Communications

The Client

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) contracted Boeing Australia Limited to provide an integrated communications network through the High Frequency Modernisation Project (HFMOD). Ericsson, supporting Boeing in the HFMOD upgrade, approached Braintree Communications to provide specialist data communications products and services for this project. Braintree designed a solution with leading-edge data communication features such as the transmitting of unformatted data which is not found in other products in the data communications market.

Ericsson was also confident of the capacity of Braintree to deliver to the specification. Braintree also supplies Remote Voice Announcement loading technology to Ericsson for supply to Telstra’s telephone exchange network throughout Australia.

The Problem

The HFMOD project is aimed to enable enhanced high frequency communications between all elements of the ADF, including Navy, Air Force and Army. Previously, each force relied on independent communications networks.

The communication upgrade allows the seamless integration of diverse high frequency radio communication equipment used by all Australian military personnel and at all levels of security.

Braintree’s brief for this project included:
- Design, develop and supply all hardware and services
- Fast installation procedures
- Full management services
- The capacity for remote enhancement
- Adherence to military standards for field military use (i.e., “Ground Benign”)
- Superior quality and reliability
- The solution had to be functional at any location in Australia.

Braintree was approached to supply key hardware and software to create the unified network for the HFMOD Project. As part of this consolidation of existing voice and data communications methods, Braintree was contracted to supply the data protocol conversion hardware and software.

The Solution

Braintree had to overcome several challenges in designing a customised solution for this project. One major challenge was to convert complex, unstructured signals in a manner that can be delivered over a variety of contemporary networks. The greater challenge was to achieve this without access to the original data configuration.

To add to the challenges, Braintree was given a very tight deadline for completion of the solution.

Braintree’s solution was a customised synchronous terminal server that offered an integrated multi-function solution for serial and parallel networking applications. The solution provides an integrated Ethernet network access to multiple serial devices. It allows connection of up to eight synchronous ports to your Local Area Network (LAN) and is designed for transaction and/or data processing with Ethernet attached devices.

The solution is remotely managed and diagnosed via Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and can be configured, managed and upgraded either locally or remotely over the network. These features allow the network manager to examine and adjust the terminal servers for optimum performance.

The solutions remote management features allow the network manager to install and configure the network according to a specific environment using Braintree’s unique Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities.

Braintree was been able to supply a customised product for the HFMOD project in just nine weeks. The product met the project specification requirements and was within budget. Significant numbers of the product have been supplied for deployment in all Australian military facilities.

The Benefits

There are a number of key features to the Braintree HFMOD solution.

Braintree’s solution provides:

- A highly efficient way of connecting synchronous devices (terminals, ATM’s and EFTPOS) to IP Ethernet LANs.
- 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 sync and asynchronous ports.
- A high-level of flexibility and support for customisation and remote management and enhancement.
- A flexible access server for IP-based networks.



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