The high level view of an ICS 200/60 is shown with its main elements.
The main elements of the system are:
Operator Positions: Full IP operator positions with touch, audio and loudspeaker panels connected via POE, which enables common power distribution and control via the OCU.
Fully redundant VCS IP Cloud: Operator positions are redundantly connected via IP to redundant, non-blocking voice and management services running on COTS equipment. System parts may be geographically distributed depending on the network topology chosen. Echo-free communications is ensured by low-delay audio transmission and processing algorithms.
VoIP A/G Communication: Access to ED‑137B VoIP radios is provided via redundant voice services running on COTS equipment.
Legacy A/G Communication: Access to analogue and E1 radios is provided via redundantly connected legacy protocol gateways. The systems low-delay audio protocols and processing algorithms ensure fast and echo-free communication.
ATM G/G Communication: Neighbour ATC may be either directly reached via VoIP according to ED‑137B or via the legacy protocol gateway via E1 Leased Lines, ATSN protocols, LB and other specialised ATM protocols.
Public Telephony: Public phones may be either directly reached via VoIP SIP providers or via the legacy protocol gateway via ISDN, E1 Leased Lines, PSTN, etc.
System Management: Configuration and Supervision of the ICS 200/60 is based on client/server architecture. Server and client software is running on COTS equipment and may be deployed in different network zones. To increase the availability of management functions, the management servers may be setup to run redundantly. By design the voice communication system is running independently of the management system thus is not affected by management server (and client) downtimes.
References: The Voice Communication System ICS 200/60 has been installed for air traffic control, airport ground services, coast guard applications and voice conferencing systems at numerous sites all over the world. Since the installation of the first generation, which was introduced to the market in 1995, the system was steadily updated and the fourth generation is now deployed.
The ICS 200/60 is a full VoIP solution. All internal control and voice communication is IP based. The core components consist of commercial off the shelf (COTS) data centre grade network and server equipment.
The applications cover large area control centres, international airports, as well as small towers and mobile shelter-based systems. The platform is fully scalable and can be tailored to the customer’s specific needs.
Conformity: The VCS platform ICS 200/60 has been continuously developed to fully cover the communication needs of ATC. The platform is fully compliant to ED-153 SWAL-3, ED-136, ED-137B, ED-138 and ED-139. Further adaptations of the VoIP standard are expected. We are committed to follow the adaptations and offer dedicated updates.
It is a fully digital voice communication control system (VCCS), also referred to as a VCS and VCSS (voice communication and switching system), which supports:
Fast VHF and UHF communications (voice and signalling) enabling radio access according to ED-137B Volume 1 or standard 4wire E&M or TDM access
To enable full redundancy all operator controller units as well as communication servers enable redundant power as well as redundant network access. For inter-building access, the usage of fibre optical links is recommended.
The ICS 200/60 is as far as possible based on Commercial of the shelf (COTS) components. The system is scalable from big centres to small remote sites.
The ICS 200/60, which operates as the backbone of air traffic control, considers the following principles in its design:
Simple installation is guaranteed by the highly integrated hardware and simple interconnection facilities, whilst well-developed BITE facilities allow easy maintenance of the system. Automatic continuous testing of all internal connections and the embedded tests on all interfaces and operator positions deliver an accurate availability status of the system.
Additionally, seamless, advanced frequency management functions such as Best Signal Selection, Automatic Transmitter Selection, Coupling (Retransmission) and Climax are available even in networked systems to guarantee efficient air/ground communications.
Fast reconfiguration on the running system (e.g. due to major change in traffic) is ensured by distributed storage of pre-defined operator position set-ups.