Real Time Situational Awareness (RTSA)

Northrop Grumman’s Real Time Situational Awareness (RTSA) capability enables aircrews to communicate with ground crews during airlift, airdrop, and many other operations.

Increased complexity of combat operations demands that aircrews process and respond to incoming information rapidly to meet mission goals. With SA of airspace and contacts in the battle area, mission failures and fratricide can be sharply reduced.

How It Works

RTSA leverages the technology developed on the BACN (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node), ROBE (Roll-on Beyond Line-of-Sight Enhancement), and RTIC (Real Time Information In the Cockpit) programs to provide a low-cost, certified tactical network capability to ensure SA in the cockpit.

Displays provide information obtained from Joint Range Extension Applications Protocol (JREAP) and Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL) communications, allowing aircrews to not only see the theater tactical picture, but also electronically identify its position to others within the theater.

The SADL/Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS) radio provides secure information transfer of ground contacts. Northrop Grumman installs the ARC-210 airborne military radio, which is used for two-way satellite voice and data communications and is software operated.

RTSA can be installed as a permanent solution, as was done on the C-130H, or roll on/roll off, which was the configuration for KC-135 (ROBE), C-17 and C-130J. A variety of display options are available, including wireless.

RTSA Highlights

  • Instant, accurate, certified coordination with ground troops
  • Continuous communications with Command and Control nodes
  • Ability to dynamically retask aircraft mid-mission
  • Rapid avoidance of threats
  • Airspace deconfiliction without radar
  • 10-fold reduction in voice communications workload
  • Reduced fratricide

On-board SA (pilot, co-pilot and navigator)

  • Moving map
  • Electronic flight bag (Option)
  • Text Messaging
  • Multiple concurrent users
  • Navigation bus monitoring
  • Display agnostic

Productivity Enhancements

  • Applications: Office, ETOLD (Electronic Takeoff and Landing Data), JPADS (Joint Precision Airdrop System) and more
  • IRCM (Infrared Countermeasure) and RF CM (Radio Frequency Countermeasures) display and reporting
  • Low cost CNS/ATM (Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management) integration
  • MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) on software defined radio