An area network is used to connect several Ground Receive Stations (GRS). This area network is normally an Internet Protocol (IP) network with ECS equipment set up on a Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN). Each VLAN segment must support a maximum data rate in the case where all downlink signals are received, encapsulated and multicast as a single GRS.
Coded Orthogonal Frequency Divisional Multiplexing (COFDM) downlink information is received at each GRS for each downlink channel. The strongest downlink signal received across all GRS locations is multicast across the IP network to any number of monitoring sites. The Network Voting System software ensures uninterrupted downlink footage whilst each helicopter moves around the combined receive site coverage area. The Network Voting System allows radio area coverage beyond the capability of a single receive site. The diagram below shows a system capable of receiving three simultaneous helicopter downlinks and presenting these to three monitoring sites. A main monitoring site also contains the Network Voting System control software. Each ECS downlink may contain up to two video channels (one of which may be High Definition), audio, Global Positioning System (GPS) information and telemetry data.
The Ground Video Monitoring System comprises of a Video Matrix, Recorders and High-Definition monitors. A hardware controller is used to control the video recorders and software is provided to control video outputs from the video matrix.
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