The Royal Navy operates two Naval Air Stations at Yeovilton and Culdrose and a radar facility at Plymouth Naval Base to control flights.

STS Defence were tasked with developing a solution to replace an outdated, obsolete, unreliable data distribution system. The solution was required to distribute live and static data to Air Traffic Control operators at their positions, eliminating the time wasting and errors caused by misreading handwritten data.

The challenge

To design, manufacture, install and support a replacement system which addressed obsolescence issues while retaining the same functions as the old system.

The new system needed to use COTS hardware, have a recognisable user interface to reduce operator training and to run on software that was free from license charges while providing network security and ease of modification. It also had to be backed up by a full, comprehensive safety case and had to conform to CAP 670, Air Traffic Control Management Regulations.

The solution

STS Defence’s solution was to create a bespoke software application on COTS hardware, running on the Linux operating system using PHP programming and a Firefox browser. The systems at each of the bases were networked together using routers and modems via a landline carrier.

MOD DE&S Air Defence and Air Traffic Systems contracted STS Defence to provide 3rd and 4th line support for the RAF Electronic Tote (ET) System and the RN Electronic Data Display System (EDDS) at numerous sites in the UK and abroad.

A helpdesk provides support to manage the replacement of any defective equipment within user units. Fit assemblies are dispatched to the user unit as required and defective units returned for repair and stock holding.

STS Defence designed, built and installed a replacement system for EDDS, using COTS hardware and custom software.  The ET system underwent an obsolescence replacement programme that required the redesign of the terminal chassis to accommodate LCD screens to replace the CRT and internal modifications.

The results

The contract has since been novated to Aquila Air Traffic Management Systems and the equipment is expected to remain in-service for several years and will be incorporated into Marshall.