Coast Guard conducts first live video teleconference at sea with IRIS

COAST GUARD ISLAND, ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, based here, became the first Coast Guard cutter to conduct a live video teleconference at sea via satellite during the Internet Protocol Router in Space Joint Capability Technology Demonstration Sept. 17.

The IRIS JCTD, a program sponsored by Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts, has completed the first of three operational demonstrations. The Sept. 17 demonstration called for an assessment of how a high endurance cutter performing a counter narco-terrorism mission could use IRIS to pass voice, video and data via satellite instead of the traditional communication architectures.

“We want to facilitate net centric operations at sea,” said Steven Groves, lead scientist for the JCTD Operational Manager, “enhancing Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational partners to collaborate.”

Coast Guard Pacific Area’s telecommunications division here has been coordinating this demonstration for more than 17 months with representatives from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab based in Colorado Springs, Colo. Besides Coast Guard Pacific Area, other major commands supporting the IRIS JCTD include the Space and Missile Command in Los Angeles, the Defense Information Systems Agency in McLean, Va., and the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Neb.

A fundamental tenant of the IRIS demonstration is to use commercial-off-the-shelf equipment procured via commercial vendors. The IRIS team set up land-based satellite communications at the Pacific Area telecommunications division as well as onboard the Sherman. Commercial communication vendors provided hardware, engineering support and airtime on a domestic Ku band satellite for the proof of concept. This commercial capability will be available sometime after the satellite launch scheduled for 2009.

Coast Guard Pacific Area has laid the foundation for follow-on demonstrations in Europe and the Caribbean involving NATO and multinational partners.

“We are here to fulfill the goal of the Battle Lab and the JCTD program — to put quality technology in the hands of the warfighter,” said Mike Florio, the IRIS JCTD Operational Manager at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab.

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