Thursday, September 18, 2008

NATO Deploys Cisco TelePresence in Afghanistan

NATO has deployed a telepresence system developed by Cisco and constructed by BT and General Dynamics C4 Systems to bring together Afghanistan-based servicemen and women and their relatives in Europe. Specifically, Cisco, BT and General Dynamics have provided a Cisco Telepresence unit at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE HQ) in Belgium and another unit more than 5,400 kilometers away in Kabul, Afghanistan. The first sessions were held earlier this month at the SHAPE HQ in Mons as part of Open Day, an event organized by NATO service provider NCSA (NATO Communications and Information Systems Services Agency), which also showcased innovations in cyber-security and military communications.

The unique setup uses Cisco TelePresence System CTS-1000 models capable of seating two participants inside robust shelters built to withstand extreme weather conditions and transportation over rough terrain. The Cisco TelePresence systems connect via X-band satellite, an industry first in the use of telepresence technology.