ORTT Program Challenges
The ASTi DACS product line has long since included the internal and external network simulation elements required to support the underlying voice communications requirements of the ORTT. Therefore, the elements of the ORTT system that we saw as a challenge to accomplish (design, produce, document, commission and conduct acceptance test) in the fifteen months were:
1. The panel mode logic and system-level connectivity logic. This had to be implemented over a wide range of platform types. The SHINCOM connectivity was about as complex a communications architecture as one could envisage. A diagram of a SHINCOM front panel is shown in Figure 2. This gives an idea as to the complexity of the connectivity logic required of the state machine logic.
2. The panel hardware manufacture. It was necessary to produce over a hundred medium-fidelity equipment replicas.
3. The panel electrical I/O. We already had an RIU product that gave us a clean and simple installation for voice. We needed to add a similar capability for the panel I/O.
4. Fortunately, access to a large number of voice streams was not one of the issues, since recent advances in our technology and the 100 Mb ethernet afforded us virtually unlimited availability of voice over the network.
5. Factory and customer acceptance testing. The schedule did not support testing of all the combinations and permutations of system operation.
6. Production of SDRLS and general support of the customer over the project life-span. ASTi is a product-oriented company that does not have “admin” staff available.
7. Multiple new hardware and software elements dramatically drive up the cost for design, documentation, spares and testing.
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