AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL CASE STUDY - MAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEW COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
The voice and data communication infrastructure, that constituted the support for the specific applications used by Romatsa was made up of a mixture of communication lines and equipment, composed mainly from analog telephone lines for operational voice applications, leased lines for data applications, as well as analog telephone lines and modems for data applications.
The resulted network was heterogeneous and difficult to manage; besides, it involved high operating costs and had a low usage coefficient in terms of engagement time by the communication services. Also, some of the software applications of Romatsa used communication protocols that were no longer supported by telecommunication service providers.
Starting from the operational and functional requirements of the communication applications, it was expected that the new system will provide the following:
- Increase of availability;
- Reduction of the operating costs related to the communication services and systems;
- Increase in the efficiency of using communications services;
- Reduction of exposure of the system lifetime to influences generated by old technologies;
- Provision of the voice and data transportation system interface with the new large area communication technologies (IP). (reference project)
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL CASE STUDY
WHY CISCO THROUGH DATANET?
The communication system has been purchased and implemented following a public acquisition where the successful proposal was based on Cisco equipment. The functional requirements of the system have naturally led to Cisco technologies, capable of ensuring increased flexibility, of efficiently using communication services of various types, as well as of providing high reliability.
Datanet Systems has been appointed to design the solution, to implement the project and perform post-implementation technical assistance. The implementation of the project was accomplished by Datanet Systems in good condition. The services provided have always been pursuant to the concluded contracts, with the strict observance of their provisions.
AN UNIQUE PROJECT DUE TO PERFORMANCE AND REDUNDANCY REQUIREMENTS
The project consists in the provision of an integrated communication system for all the locations where Romatsa carries out its activity.
The system that provides voice and data transport services is designed to ensure 99.999% availability of those services. The most important challenges of the project came from the high availability and safety requirements imposed by the specificity of the ROMATSA activity. The greatest difficulties were related to solving the need to ensure a very high level of availability for the system, as well as the obligation to ensure a maximum level of security for the transmitted data considering the migration of the services to the new communication technologies available on the market.
At the same time, provided that the system architecture is based on the aggregation of data of various applications on a single communication infrastructure, and also that it is necessary to assign distinct priorities to the traffic generated by different applications, a very important step was the implementation of a Quality of Service policy that would provide support for these requirements. The communication support being limited in terms of resources (mainly in terms of bandwidth), the Quality of Service techniques solve the critical issue of prioritizing critical applications over delay-tolerant applications.
NECESSARY TECHNICAL RESOURCES
The solution provided by Datanet Systems has been designed with a modular architecture and multiple levels of resiliency and security, using the following products:
- Cisco 7600 for the core layer, completely redundant, high-performance platform;
- Cisco 7600 Security: firewall and IDS/IPS equipment for the protection of the core network;
- Cisco ISR 3900, multiservice platform and Catalyst Switches (layer 3 and layer 2) for the access layer;
- Network management solution based on in-house developed application combined with Cisco Prime and ZOOM International Call Recording;
- Cisco Unified CallManager, Cisco IP phones for voice communications.
A SYSTEM WITH MULTIPLE BENEFITS
The most important benefits offered by the new communication system include:
- Significant increase of availability of the communication system – through solutions that belong to the “carrier class” and “fault tolerant” category of reliability with “hot swap” modules,
- Extension of the new communication system lifespan – the new system enabling, through reliability, modularity, and flexibility, for a period of at least 8-10 years the provision of new applications.
- Increased stability – in case of any failure or scheduled technical intervention the total time of interruption of communication of a node does not exceed 2 seconds.
- Increased traffic transport capacity 100 times.
As a consequence of these benefits, the increase of availability and system efficiency are ensured, and the end user’s degree of comfort is expected to increase.
Ever since 1991 – the year of establishment – the main goal has been the provision of air traffic services for the aircraft that perform GAT (General Air Traffic) flights under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) conditions in the Romanian airspace, as well as any other airspace delegated to Romania under international agreements.
At the same time, ROMATSA ensures a seamless management and development of the control activities of aircraft that belong to users or operators, promotes harmonization and integration into the European specialized system (EUROCONTROL), together with the Ministry of National Defense, ensures the coordinated usage of the Romanian airspace by the civil and military aviation.
“The services provided by Datanet Systems specialists make a difference through professionalism from every aspect. The expertise level is excellent, the response to our requirements has always been prompt and efficient.”
Cătălin Apostol, IT Expert, Romatsa
“In line with the current migration trend of data transport services towards the infrastructure and IP protocols, a trend that is manifested also at the Air Traffic Control level concerning the radar and the operational voice systems, an important feature of integrated communications system is its ability to transport the IP traffic, in both ways - unicast and multicast, between all connection points.“
Gabriel Muşat, Deputy Executive Director, Datanet Systems