Tuesday, February 7, 2006

DARPA Tests Multi-party IP Conferencing with U.S. Fighter Jet

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has successfully tested a multi-party, IP conference call linking an F-15E fighter jet in flight with a remote government command center in California and a three-star general at the Pentagon.

During the test, Avaya demonstrated a multiparty IP conference call connecting the aircraft's weapon systems officer with two parties at the China Lake Integrated Battlespace Arena Command Center and with Lt. Gen. William T. Hobbins at his desk in the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the multiparty conference call, successful tests were completed using Avaya's IP telephony network to call an in-flight, E-2C Hawkeye surveillance aircraft equipped with an Avaya IP Softphone.

Both tests used Avaya's Communication Manager IP telephony software hosted on an Avaya Media Server. Avaya Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Enablement Services were used to ensure connectivity with standards-based endpoints for telephony, instant messaging, conferencing and collaboration. The multiparty conference call involved both an Avaya IP phone and an Avaya SIP IP telephone at China Lake and a traditional desk set at the Pentagon. A third-party SIP softphone running on a Windows-based auxiliary computer was used in the F-15E cockpit, connecting the pilot to the conference via a secure wireless link.

Avaya said such communications had previously been limited to two-party calls using 'push to talk' radios, with critical information relayed from one party to the next. With IP telephony, all those involved can speak naturally and communicate dynamically, in real time -- from the Air Operations Center to targeting and safety crews, with simultaneous transmission of actual local ground and/or aircraft data.


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