IRAS Army solution
IRAS for the Danish Army with JCATS
The Danish Army's tactical simulation center houses more than 100 JCATS clients and a number of supporting systems all running the IRAS software. The IRAS system on the JCATS PCs is controlled with a special hardware switch box resembling a Terma RT7/PRC2061 radio to which military handmike, speakers and headsets are connected. To further enhance the simulation experience up to twenty real live radios can be attached to the simulation network via dedicated PCs running the IRAS software. Finally, for the daily management of the IRAS system two centralized IRAS servers are set up for application and configuration deployment.
The IRAS Army solution is a customized version of IRAS PRO and has been in deployment since 2011. On the JCATS PCs the IRAS system is running together with the JCATS software and to not interfere with the JCATS user interface IRAS is controlled by an external switch box. On other PCs the standard communication panel is used. Integration of real radios with the simulation communication network extends the simulation to the outside areas of the simulation center, thereby effectively integrating personnel and operational level vehicles equipped with real radios into the simulation exercise.
Controlling the IRAS solution with dedicated hardware
The purpose of dedicating a hardware box for the operation of IRAS is two-fold: It does neither require a screen nor keyboard and mouse and it makes it possible to connect non standard PC equipment with military connectors to the PC. Actually two hardware switch boxes of this kind are attached to one JCATS PC. This makes it possible for two simultaneous and independent communications. The switchboxes are connected to the PC with serial port and audio cables. From the switchbox the operator can select one of ten predefined channel for communication.
The setup for the switchboxes is done in the IRASInstructor application.
Integrating real radios in the simulation
The setup for the real radio integration consists of four rack-mounted PCs each interfacing with five real radios. Each radio will be assigned a specific frequency in the simulation (software radio) as well on air (real radio). When a transmission takes place in the simulation which matches the frequency for the software radio the Push-to-Talk for the real radio is enabled and the audio of the transmission is transferred to the mike input of the real radio. And the other way round - when the real radio receives a transmission on air the PTT for the software radio in the simulation will be enabled and the audio from the real radio will be transferred to the line in on the sound card and further across the simulation network.
To allow for the bi-directional PTT a special hardware box was developed and inserted between the interface PC and the real radio.