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C5ISR: Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance


C5ISR systems collect and disseminate information in support of military operations and play a crucial role in combat missions, providing real-time information to soldiers making battlefield decisions. C5ISR systems require highly reliable, real-time, secure and ruggedized solutions that can withstand extreme environmental conditions. Examples include tactical data communications platforms, satellite terminals, and autonomous/non-autonomous platforms for air, land, sea and space missions.

C5ISR requirements are rapidly evolving and becoming more stringent to address emerging adversary capabilities, driving tougher timing and synchronization specifications including:

  • Improved frequency stability and low phase noise to enable increased communication bandwidth
  • Stringent temperature and vibration specs to accommodate challenging operational environments
  • Continuous operation in GPS-denied situations during extended mission durations
  • Reduced Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) for highly portable applications
  • Use of industrial COTS parts, standardization and modularity to reduce costs

Featured Applications

Military Communications

Broadband Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) systems require precise frequencies generated by a low SWaP atomic clock to establish secure, encrypted, two-way broadband satellite communications for front-line forces in hostile locations.

Key Requirements

  • Low size, weight and power with rugged packaging and fast warm up to frequency after cold start
  • Temperature stability over a wide operating range
  • Frequency accuracy and stability that enables extended (1 day +) operation while GPS denied

Solution: Wide Temperature CSAC

Undersea Reconnaissance

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) for intelligence, reconnaissance and mine countermeasures require an accurate onboard time reference such as a low SWaP atomic clock to timestamp data collection, support communications and navigate in the absence of GPS.

Key Requirements

  • Small size, weight and power to minimize battery/sensor costs, reduce space and increase mission duration
  • Frequency stability across wide temperature swings from the ocean surface to deep ocean depths

Solution: CSAC

A-PNT systems utilize multiple sensor inputs such as GNSS, precision atomic clocks and inertial measurement units to provide accurate and trusted PNT data while operating in contested environments.

Key Requirements

  • Low SWaP, rugged design with minimal heat dissipation for compact board-mount designs
  • Precise time within 1 μs of UTC for up to eight hours in a GPS-denied environment

Solution: Wide Temperature CSAC

Tactical Radio

Tactical radio systems mounted on fixed and rotary wing aircraft rely on a ruggedized oscillator with low dynamic phase noise to generate precision frequency and time signals for highly reliable, real-time, secure, mission-critical communications.

Key Requirements

  • Low SWaP, rugged design
  • Low g-sensitivity for low phase noise under vibration

Solution: 9638B Military OCXO

Aircraft Time and Frequency Reference

A stable atomic frequency reference on military aircraft withstands high accelerations and drastic and rapid temperature changes to drive radar and various intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance electronics even when GPS is compromised.

Key Requirements

  • Low SWaP, PCB-mountable with excellent holdover for hours/days
  • Tolerant of static-g forces and tolerant of temperature swings

Solution: MAC SA5X

GNSS Signal

GPS III satellites leverage an ultra-stable quartz crystal reference oscillator with precise short-term stability inside the system’s Mission Data Unit (MDU) to distribute precise timing to multiple satellite payloads.

Key Requirements

  • Superior short-term stability with low phase noise
  • Radiation hardened and high reliability

Solution: 9500B Space OCXO

Signals Intelligence

Airborne intelligence gathering systems used to intercept electronic signals require a precise atomic oscillator, operating without GPS, that offers low dynamic phase noise and ruggedized packaging to survive harsh conditions.

Key Requirements

  • Frequency stability with low dynamic phase noise under harsh environmental conditions
  • Temperature stability over wide operating range
  • Frequency accuracy and stability that enables extended (1 day +) operation without GPS

Solution: 8200LN Ruggedized Atomic Clock

Maritime Satellite Communications

Maritime satellite-based command, control and communications systems depend on precise atomic clocks with low phase noise and ruggedized packaging to exchange tactical data, imagery, real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting information.

Key Requirements

  • Frequency stability with low dynamic phase noise under harsh environmental conditions
  • Temperature stability over wide operating range
  • Frequency accuracy and stability that enables extended (1 day +) operation without external reference such as GPS (holdover)

Solution: 8200LN

High-bandwidth satellite communication instrumentation depends on extremely precise, ultra-low phase noise 10 MHz reference signals.

Key operational requirements include a time reference that delivers:

  • Ultra-low phase noise 10 MHz reference signals with ultra-low close-in phase noise at 1 Hz offset frequency
  • Multi-signal output and long-term stability with low levels of spurious noise

Solution: SyncServer S650 with Ultra-Low Phase Noise Module

Data Center Operations

Accurate, reliable and secure time of day is needed for network operations and mission-critical applications.

Key Requirements

  • Accurate time of day for network operations, log/data file timestamps, security system sync
  • Multiple timing output types to support multiple secure enclave time synchronization
  • GPS synchronization and reliable GPS alternatives

Solution: SyncServer S650 with Timing I/O Module(s)

Regional Headquarters Time Standard

Resilient time and frequency are required for communications and data systems if satellite-based time and frequency signals are not available.

Key Requirements

  • Precise time reference that can operate independently from GPS
  • Very long-term frequency stability for extended holdover capabilities

Solution: SyncSystem 4380 with Cesium Atomic Clock