• SWITCHING TO THE FUTURE OF RANGE COMMUNICATIONS AT EDWARDS AFB

      Gribble, Simeon S.; Switzer, Earl R.; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2001-10)
      The Edwards Digital Switch (EDS) provides mission critical voice and time-spaceposition information (TSPI) communication switching capability to the Edwards Test Range. The present system has been in operation for about 10 years. The core of this system is based on widely used commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) time-slot interchange switches that were designed for a 40-year service life. The application layers of the system, comprising the command/control elements and the communications and user interfaces, were custom developed by the prime contractor to satisfy the performance requirements of the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC). Problems with the current system include difficulty in obtaining replacement items for equipment developed by the prime contractor and higher than expected failure rates for this equipment. Based on experience, the service life for the equipment developed by the prime contractor appears to be about 15 years. Another problem is that lower cost packet switches are taking market share from the more traditional time-slot interchange switches. This factor tends to accelerate the obsolescence of the existing COTS equipment. Solutions are being investigated to update or replace the EDS. One solution is to reuse the existing COTS core equipment and replace the present application layers, preferably with COTS. Another solution is to replace the entire system with COTS or vendormodified COTS hardware and software.