FAA seeks industry info as it researches NAS VoICE updates and legacy integration

April 4, 2023
FAA looks for a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) voice over internet protocol (VoIP)-based air traffic control voice communications system (VCS) and supporting services.

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the agency is seeking potential sources to update its National Airspace System (NAS) ground-to-ground protocol converter (GPC) technology.

The FAA has released a conceptual diagram of the proposed new elements of the agency's planned Voice over IP Communication Enterprise (VoICE) This specification covers the GPC element, where the GPC is utilized to translate between the FAA’s legacy ground-to-ground (G/G) interfaces and VoIP (ED-137) G/G interfaces.

The FAA is seeking interested sources that are capable of fulfilling the FAA’s requirements via a market survey to solicit statements of interest and capabilities from interested businesses.

The contractor will provide a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) voice over internet protocol (VoIP)-based air traffic control voice communications system (VCS) and supporting services. The FAA will use the COTS VCS to conduct market research for future VoICE VCS acquisitions. These systems are being used to refine FAA requirements.

Competitive acquisition would involve deploying air-to-ground (A/G) protocol converters that convert analog voice/signaling to European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) ED-137-compliant VoIP, and ED-137-compliant VoIP to analog voice/signaling. Draft Specification and IRD to be released initially without software and security requirements.

The GPC will facilitate the transition to IP VCS by providing an interface between VoIP (ED-137) VCS and legacy analog communications links.

In the proposed design, the GPC will operate in three configurations. GPC configuration #1 will provide “end-to-end VoIP connectivity” to legacy VCSs. This configuration will support GPC to GPC communications, via the Government Transport System (GTS). The GPCs will provide the required analog interfaces to the legacy VCSs.

GPC configuration number two will provide “VoIP enabling” to a legacy VCS. The GPC is local to a legacy VCS and is connected to the analog interface of the VCS. VoIP connectivity provided by the GPC in this application will provide a legacy VCS access to the GTS for communicating with a VoIP VCS.

The third CPC configuration will provide analog enabling to a VoIP VCS. The CPC is local to a VoIP VCS and is connected to an analog interface leaving the facility. The analog connectivity provided by this CPC configuration will provide access to a legacy VCS.

More information, including technical documents, is available at https://sam.gov/opp/579a70abed1444e08630cb5f3280cff9/view. Responses to this inquiry are required by 28 April 2023 at 5 p.m. Eastern. Questions can be directed to Alessha M. Mason at [email protected] or 202-267-1016.

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