The Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) (a department of the Australian Department of Defence (DoD)) have contracted BAE Systems Australia to run and maintain the DoD Alice Springs Jindalee Operational Radar Network Radar 3 (JORN Radar 3).
In maintaining the JORN Radar 3, BAE operates across approximately 30,000 square kilometers at the DoD Alice Springs Base.
The DMO needed to upgrade their ageing radio communications system to improve coverage and provide the ability to securely communicate information. The new system needed to address safety concerns for BAE staff who were traveling long distances on remote roads between the two remote bases and Alice Springs. The previous system was unable to provide the coverage needed, which meant if a problem were to arise it was not guaranteed that the technician could contact head quarters for assistance, thus creating safety concerns.
It was also identified that the security levels of the previous radio network were not adequate as any person with a scanner could easily monitor DoD's communications. For the DoD it was important that the new system provided a level of security where only the right people have access to information regarding their operations.
Tait provided the DoD with a P25 digital system. TB9100 base stations were installed at three sites, one at Alice Springs and two others in the surrounding area. TM9155 mobiles and TP9160 portables have been deployed to maintenance personnel and vehicles. A spare TB9100 has been provided to enable quick response to any maintenance issues. Tait's P25 digital system has significantly improved coverage between the facilities without requiring additional sites or channels. The TB9100's Ethernet interface allowed the three repeater sites to be linked via voice-over-IP. This created the wider area network required to cover the 30,000 square kilometers of land.
To strengthen communication, clarity base voting and mobile voting have been implemented. This feature and the system's ability to recover audio means the new system now provides far superior coverage. Tait improve the safety of BAE staff through the use of an emergency call button on each TM9155 mobile and TP9160 portable units. When pushed the user is directly linked to headquarters allowing for improved response times.
Every P25 transmission is made over a 'P25 common air interface' which can only be heard by a P25 digital radio. For BAE staff this ensures that those operating analog radios in the surrounding area cannot access their communications. Furthermore DoD also have access to P25 digital encryption which could be used in the future for high level encryption to protect sensitive information.
Talk-groups, a standard P25 conventional feature, has been implemented to improve internal security measures and further streamline communications. By grouping users into talk-groups DoD has greater control over who listens to what. This capability also helps streamline communications by ensuring others on the network are not disturbed by irrelevant chatter.
With access to these improvements BAE staff will be able to manage the DoD's Alice Springs facilities more effectively helping to ensure Australia's safety.