Edinburgh, Scotland, April 2021 – An important result has been achieved in recent days at Edinburgh Airport. Air Navigation Solutions (ANSL), the resident Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), successfully completed the transition to the new Voice Communication System (VCS) provided by SITTI. The old system, which has been serving the Scottish capital for many years, has been definitively switched off in favour of a new modern Voice over IP (VoIP) system.
SITTI, world leading supplier of VCS systems, has been awarded the supply of a full standard compliant new voice switching solution that represents a big step forward for the modernization of the local Air Traffic Control (ATC) infrastructure. This big success is the result of three concurrent and integrated aspects, which greatly contributed to the final result:
- the VCS itself, the best solution on the market for the management of airport ATC
- the high level of professionalism of ANSL staff
- collaboration between ANSL and SITTI personnel which enabled the switch over to take place in spite of challenges created by Covid-19
A similar project is underway at Gatwick, the London airport managed by ANSL, where another similar VCS is completing its fine tuning to shortly become fully operational.
Both systems belong to the MULTIFONO® M800IP® family developed by SITTI in full accordance with the latest standards in the air management and air traffic control fields issued by EUROCONTROL and EUROCAE, with special focus on the ED-137 VoIP standard, which M800IP® is fully compliant to. M800IP® systems have undergone countless interoperability tests and operational assessments around the globe, offering advanced interfacing capabilities, reliability and flexibility. These VCS systems are equipped with interface units for connecting both digital and analogue radios and telephones and converting them to standard ED-137 VoIP links.
The VCS replacement at Edinburgh and Gatwick is driven by ANSL’s commitment to providing a very high level of service to airports and airlines through innovation and future proof solutions for integrated and efficient air traffic management processes. The productive collaboration between ANSL and SITTI made it possible to tackle the sometimes complex operational aspects and situations in the Air Traffic Control field, where the main focus is to ensure and increase flight safety.
Continuing its expansion and progress in their modernization project, DGAC has installed a new VCS (Voice Communication System) at Concepcion. DGAC (Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil) is the Chilean ANSP (Air Navigation Service Provider) which SITTI has established an excellent relationship with, that allowed several other airport facilities to be equipped or upgraded with SITTI systems. These latter proved their reliability and capability of coping with local needs and requirements, as testified by the numerous installations in the country.
The international airport Carriel Sur of Concepcion is one of the largest airports in Chile, serving domestic and international flights, and also acting as an alternate airport for the main airport in the capital, Santiago del Chile. The number of connections to be managed at this airport is very significant and deserve a proper management to allow air traffic operators to have full access to all communication resources at any time.
“The MULTIFONO® M800IP® solution offered by SITTI bases itself on our well proven architecture that makes it possible to avoid any single point of failure, thus guaranteeing an extremely high reliability and availability ratio.” – Pietro Lucioli, SITTI Program Manager, explains – “All active elements are connected to the duplicated high speed backbone LAN, in charge of distributing all messages and information to the system components.”
Both E&M analogue and ED137 VoIP radios are connected to the VCS in main/standby mode, also providing Best Signal Selection (BSS) functions for the choice of the best received radio signal. At the same time, controllers can access more than 100 telephone lines (both analogue and SIP/IP). 8 brand new controller working positions (CWP) are envisaged; they are physically remote from the central unit, connected via duplicated optic fibre. GPS digital clocks and display units complete the system.
The new VCS has gone operative in March 2021, after deep testing and proper training of the controllers.
SITTI will be providing a brand new VCS (Voice Communication System Solution) for Azerbaijan airports. This is not the first time SITTI is supplying its systems and solutions to this country. In 2019, in fact, SITTI VCCS was chosen for the Airspace Supervision & Efficiency Center (ASEC) in Baku, which is part of Azeraeronavigatsiya (AZANS), the Azerbaijan Air Navigation Service Provider, to optimize the airspace utilization in the region.
The new system belongs to the topmost category of VCS systems developed by SITTI. It is a MULTIFONO® M800IP® Voice Communication System, fully compatible with the most recent communication standards issued by international standardization bodies like EUROCAE and EUROCONTROL. Among these, standard ED-137 is probably the most important and well-known because it defines the way data and audio shall be dealt with in a full IP-based VoIP scenario.
The SITTI VCS will be able to simultaneously manage analogue and digital telephone lines of various types (LB, CB, PABX, etc.) and analogue VHF/UHF radio channels, but also seamlessly expandable to include full radio and telephone lines according to the provisions of the ED 137 standard.
The supply is complemented by fully configurable, ergonomic and easy-to-use controllers panels to make the work of air traffic controllers as easy, yet error-free, as possible. Such panels are based on a very reliable touchscreen keyboard, where keys, sizes, colours, access functions can be autonomously defined by the customer.
The systems being delivered to Azerbaijan, justify the large capability of SITTI to cope with different customer needs, ranging from small airfields to very large ACC centres. The huge experience and expertise accumulated in providing future-proof and mission-critical solutions worldwide make SITTI the optimum solution provider wherever secure, configurable, flexible and reliable communications are needed.
In the second half of December 2020, ENAV made a significant step forward towards the full introduction of the VoIP technology in their Air Traffic Control infrastructure. Few weeks ago, in fact, SITTI concluded activities for putting operative the new VoIP system at Rome Fiumicino international airport. This airport is the main Italian hub, providing long-haul connections to all continents.
Rome Fiumicino airport will be using SITTI MULTIFONO M800IP® main Voice Communication System (VCS), equipped with analogue and digital radio and telephone channels, plus a number of standard ED-137 VoIP connections. To ensure connectivity to ENET (the legacy voice and data network utilized by ENAV to interconnect their ACCs and airports), appropriate QSIG interfaces are also envisaged. All these different kinds of interfaces are natively supported by the M800IP® system, thus providing the customer with all the interface points needed, by taking full advantage of the ED 137 standard recommendations and practices. Digital recorders are used for legal recording.
Besides the VCS system, SITTI is also supplying ENAV with new controller working position consoles, capable of being assigned any operative role through simple configuration patterns. This guarantees maximum flexibility and interoperability in case of operational rearrangement and/or maintenance activities. The new consoles have been designed, on innovatice requirements issued by ENAV, and manufactured by SITTI with special attention to ergonomy and integration of diversified data and service sources, in the frame of the “NexTower” project by ENAV, aiming at the technological modernization of all air traffic control rooms and airport towers.
The successful completion of the installation, the subsequent in-depth tests and final commissioning in Rome Fiumicino are major steps for the improvement of air traffic from/to the capital of Italy, so as to be ready when the pandemic crisis will be over and the amount of traffic will increase. SITTI is proud to have given its contribution to this project.
Through the excellent relationships with LEONARDO, SITTI has been awarded the supply of a Voice Communication System (VCS) for the U-Tapao airport in Thailand, about 40 kilometres afar from the world famous beaches of Pattaya and about 160 km from the capital, Bangkok.
SITTI is being supplying a VCS belonging to the MULTIFONO® M800IP® family, including 7 Controller Working Positions (CWP) with Radio, Telephone and Intercom facilities. Installation, configuration, setting to work, integration, commissioning are under the responsibility of SITTI.
The system for U-Tapao airport is aimed at allowing the final customer to interface 32 standard analogue telephone lines of different kinds and 12 analogue radio channels. Nevertheless, the interface boards making up this system are already natively ready to be used for connecting VoIP radios, once the customer will be migrating to this technology.
Best Signal Selection (BSS) modules are also part of the system for identification and distribution of the best received radio signal to the operators. Furthermore, interfaces for legal recording are also envisaged. The supply also includes precise clock reference modules and the MMS software platform used to configure the system, manage possible incoming alarms and make all administrative tasks from a redundant installation.
At any time in the future, the system can be seamlessly enlarged by adding new interface boards and/or controller working positions, whose configuration is extremely easy and straightforward: they can be put into operation in a matter of minutes, without interrupting ongoing activities.
SITTI is not new in the supply of technologically advanced systems to the Indonesian Air Forces (TNI – Tentara Nasional Indonesia) through a local company. The products supplied by SITTI in the past (read here https://www.sitti.it/sitti-in-indonesia/) have been so satisfactory for the end customer that another 6 new Voice Communication Systems (VCS) are going to be installed in the Indonesian country.
More specifically, the new systems will be supplied to provide the ADOC (Air Defence & Operations Command), the SOC (Sector Operation Centre) and 4 radar stations with modern, top level devices with proven and certified characteristics. The Voice Communication Systems manufactured by SITTI in fact represent the best choice for military organizations worldwide, thanks to their unparalleled reliability, expandability and resilience, as testified by the very large number of installations in all continents.
The VCSs under supply are equipped with interface boards capable of connecting to analogue and digital links, both radio and telephone, including VoIP ones (Voice over IP). SITTI systems come along with the native capability of being interfaced to radios from any manufacturer, thus making it the most customizable system available on the market.
In addition to VCS, SITTI is also providing the ADOC and SOC centres with voice recording systems (VRS) belonging to the VRS800 recorder family, that is characterized by being a no-single-point-of-failure system offering an extremely high performance and reliability level, capable of recording (and obviously of synchronously reproducing) both audio and video sources.
Air/Ground and Ground/Ground communications are tracked by this client/server recording system with the capability of storing long term information and events, thus allowing controllers to access and reproduce all conversations of interest. The recorded data replay system gives operators full access to both audio and events occurred at the time of recording, thus allowing them to reproduce the exact sequence of operations.
NATO ACCS (Air Command and Control Systems) in Italy are going to be equipped with new M800IP® MULTIFONO® VCS (Voice Communication Systems). This activity is being requested by NATO through the Italian Air Force Command in order to allow the existing ISDN communication network to be replaced by modern IP/VoIP (Voice over IP) interfaces.
Both classified and unclassified communications flow through the VCS equipment provided by SITTI to TELEDIFE, the Italian agency that is in charge of selecting and providing the Air Force with the proper equipment. From the operational rooms of the Italian air defence centres, operators will be able to access all UHF/VHF radios, apply ECCM measures, use HF radio links, establish telephone calls, in both clear and encrypted modes.
The M800IP® system is fully ED 137 compliant. This is a standard developed by EUROCAE for the implementation of Voice Over IP features in the Air Traffic Management and Control areas, by defining the way radio accesses and telephone calls shall be established, maintained, terminated. ED 137 is not specific to civil or military applications, in that it can be used in both environments: it defines a framework that guarantees interoperability between devices from different vendors.
As a consequence of the planned evolution towards IP/VoIP network, ACCS Voice Communication Systems (VCS) are going to be enhanced to include the new VoIP technology without losing any previously accessible feature, so as the grant cross‐border connections among all ACCS sites.
Stringent quality standards are applied according to NATO and National regulations, to ensure that SITTI MULTIFONO® M800IP® systems are fully capable of supporting easy and effective integration and transition to new technologies, at the same time providing military advanced features and full reliability of their systems.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is conducting a significant Market Survey to define the acquisition strategy and validate future U.S. aviation communication systems’ requirements. As part of that campaign, the FAA has selected the best Voice Communication Switch suppliers worldwide to provide their COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) systems.
SITTI is proud to be part of those.
SITTI MULTIFONO® M800IP® VCS system will be installed at the FAA William Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City and be used by the FAA to perform market research for future voice switching procurements.
The system being provided by SITTI uses several radio and telephone connections, both analog and digital, to allow the FAA to simulate voice communications in support of execution of various operational scenarios. FAA users will be interfacing the system through 4 radio+telephone controller working positions.
This is a significant achievement for SITTI, in line with its strategy to invest strongly in the American market. Furthermore, it is an excellent opportunity for SITTI to make the FAA and the major players in the Air Navigation field appreciate the qualities of its systems and services in terms of reliability and flexibility.
This further confirmation of our leading position in the VCS market provides us with the opportunity to broaden our supply and support to U.S. organizations and Federal Agencies that are working to replace and upgrade their current infrastructures with VoIP technology.
Chengdu is the capital of the south-western province of Sichuan in China. For the improvement and expansion of the airport, the local administration awarded SITTI the supply of a brand new MULTIFONO® M800IP® Voice Communication Solution.
SITTI boasts a very large base of installed systems in China. The increasing number of orders coming from this country once more testifies the excellent reputation that our company has well-deserved in the Far East, even through the excellent work done by our local representative, Beijing XiDi Communication Technology Co., Ltd.
The new VCS has a limited size compared to other similar systems spread all over the country, but nevertheless it provides operators with all the features and facilities available at larger installations. The system is in fact complying with the most recent specifications of the EUROCAE ED 137 standard, which defined the rules for the use of VOIP (Voice over IP) in the Air Traffic Control field.
The system is capable of interfacing both analogue and digital radios and telephone lines. This allows the system to get all benefits from the native straightforward flexibility of the IP-based architecture of the system itself, without losing the possibility of providing full access to all kinds of interfaces and lines.
At any time in the future, the system can be seamlessly enlarged by adding new interface boards and/or controller working positions, whose configuration is extremely easy thanks to the MMS software: they can be put into operation in a matter of minutes, thus significantly enhancing the air traffic control capabilities of Chengdu operators.
The tight schedule defined for the supply of VCS systems to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has not being delayed due to the Covid virus emergency situation. The last two lots found their way to their final destination according to the agreements with the customer. The last boxes of the last lot left SITTI in the first week of September to reach the Indian sub-continent.
This important contract was awarded to SITTI in June 2019, after a very competitive bidding process. It represents a big step towards the modernization of their Air Traffic Control infrastructure all over the country and one of the biggest successes for SITTI.
“The large amount of equipment foreseen by the contract proved the capability of SITTI to cope with high volumes of production,” – Marco Scalia, SITTI Program Manager for this project, said – “by at the same time keeping the same quality standards for all of them, according to the strict applicable analysis and process standards applied by the company.”
In less than one year, SITTI completed the delivery of all foreseen systems and ancillary equipment. We are here speaking of 48 main VCS system plus 16 fallback ones, 77 remote radio stations, 726 controller working positions, 48 voice recording systems.
“The significant investments made by SITTI in improving its internal processes and the optimisation of the production lines put the company in the position of being capable of dealing with large supplies like this, without renouncing to the topmost quality level that make it the reference company worldwide for ATC devices, systems and solutions.” – Roberto Weger added, Communications Manager at SITTI.
All systems supplied to AAI belong to the top performing MULTIFONO® M800IP® family, fully compliant to the international ED 137 VoIP standard for VoIP applications in the ATC field. The extremely easy configuration capability and the flexibility of the functions embedded into the boards and Controller Working Positions make M800IP® the best choice VCS. Top-performing Voice Recorders and VoIP Gateways provide the ancillary functions that complete the offer by SITTI.