Army Upgrading Phoenix Satellite Terminals.

Author:Lee, Connie

The Army has awarded an other transaction authority agreement to upgrade its Phoenix satellite terminal system.

Envistacom--a small business specializing in wireless and satellite communications headquartered in Atlanta--was awarded the OTA agreement in January.

The Phoenix terminals, which are mounted on expanded capacity vehicles and used by expeditionary signal battalions to enable tactical communication, are reaching the end of their lifecycles, Alan Carson, senior vice president of Envistacom, said.

The program executive office for command, control and communications-tactical is currently pushing to modernize the Army's entire tactical network, meaning that systems such as radios must be changed to have IP-based standards, he noted.

"The objectives are to primarily increase the modularity, the scalability and flexibility of the system while providing some upgrades from a technical perspective, such as the incorporation of [internet protocol] ethernet interfaces versus serial connectivity," Carson said.

The development cycle for the Phoenix upgrades would typically take about five years, but Envistacom plans to reduce that to 18 months, Carson said. The Army is pushing a "more agile approach" for fielding new capabilities, and Envistacom, as a small business, provides it with "a little more agility" for meeting these timelines, he noted.

Additionally, the company is working to improve the system's cybersecurity. The terminal...

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