IT system for the eyes of the artillery

From 2019 onwards, ATM ComputerSysteme GmbH will provide extensive IT command equipment – including Logistic Life Cycle Support – for the 30 FENNEKs of the Joint Fire Support Team (JFST). This consists of the mission data recording system (MDA II), two CENTURION i7 vehicle computers, two MDU15 displays, the KommServerQ-STF (KSQ-STF), a managed 12-port switch, the system control unit (SBG), three PowerPacks, the electrical system powered charging station for mobile equipment (BuBa) and the administrator features (Ausstattung für Systembetreuer; SysBetrAusstg).

The role of a JFST FENNEK team includes reconnaissance and surveillance, the determination and transmission of target information, and the coordination of the various weapons. In order to achieve this, powerful and reliable IT command equipment is essential to support information acquisition and processing.

The central MDA II module is connected to the central electronics ZE FENNEK, the surveillance and reconnaissance system and BV system (on-board intercom), reading out navigation, video and audio data from each source respectively, before compressing and saving them, while the MDA II simultaneously transmits the data to the FüWES ADLER III and FüInfoSysH. The two Battle Management Systems are installed on a CENTURION i7 vehicle computer. The visualisation takes place via two MDU15 displays, which are connected in a way that allows the visualisation and operation of the Battle Management Systems to be switched.

The interference-resistant communication for establishing a data connection with higher-level command stations or within an individual team is facilitated by the ATM KommServerQ-STF (KSQ-STF), which is operated simultaneously by both Battle Management Systems. The KSQ-STF is the cross-cutting successor system for different variants of the KommServer in the STF and ADLER environment. The KSQ-STF connects up to 3 radios of the SEM family, the HRM7400E and the PRC117F/G in parallel. The managed 12-port GBit LAN switch allows VLANs to be formed in the vehicle itself and a special SW switch can be used to activate or deactivate external fibre optic access.

The IT components are protected against power failures by the three PowerPack backup batteries, guaranteeing a controlled shutdown in the event of failure or malfunction of the on-board voltage. The JFST FENNEK is also equipped with the BuBa (battery charger), which serves as a charging station for the equipment batteries of the radios and equipment (PRC148, PRC117F/G, NYXUS) for dismounted operation, and is powered by the vehicle’s power supply.

The SBG is the central system unit of the central electronic system and allows the operation, retrieval or configuration of vehicle-specific functions.

SysMon software is used to monitor the operational readiness of the command and control equipment while in use, registering potential failure during operation and monitoring the system status of the integrated IT equipment. SysMon alerts attention to mission-critical failures and system errors, including additional information regarding the expected operational limitations and possible compensation operations.

ATM also provides solutions for the maintenance of the materials through SysCheck, an integrated testing software for offline function testing, and DIANA, a diagnostic application for fault localisation, which supports the repairer in conjunction with the “Inspection Equipment for Command and Control instruments STF” (Prüfausstattung Führungsmittel STF).

With the SysBetrAusstg JFST, ATM also provides system administrators with a series of applications and tools that ensure consistent administration of computer systems in the JFST team – for example, during software installation or backup creation.