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October 26, 2012

NASA Taps Quintron Systems for its DICES Offering

By Tabitha Naylor, Contributing Writer

Earlier this week, Quintron Systems, of Santa Maria, Calif., revealed that its DICES VoIP mission critical voice switch was now being used at the Mission Control Center-Moscow (MCC-M) in Korolev, Russia, in order to support NASA’s International Space Station (ISS).

With this deployment, NASA will gain access to a robust communications system that can be used between MCC-M and the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX. The installation was completed under a contract signed by SAIC (News - Alert) (Science Applications International Corp.).

The DICES VoIP system was chosen to replace an aging legacy system with technology designed to support NASA’s needs. Optimized to support the Ops leads, controllers, interpreters and other support personnel at MCC-M, the system includes 26 new VoIP touchscreen keysets. The DICES implementation also seamlessly passes mission loops to the existing Russian mission control system.

Robby Butler, NASA’s Russian Services group manager, stated that the DICES VoIP system’s price and performance, along with its flexibility to interface with existing infrastructure, made it a clear choice.

“Due to a compressed mission schedule and aging legacy hardware, it was imperative that the transition to DICES VoIP be implemented on an aggressive timeline. Quintron responded with engineering, training and delivery support that was essential to our success,” added Robert Pickle, SAIC’s Russian services manager.

Back in January, the initial project contact was inked with Quintron with continuous system design review maintained into early February. Key factors included how to interface to legacy connections at the MCC-M and the audio connections back to JSC and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSEC).

To replicate and confirm the design concepts, Quintron at that point, was requested to supply a demo VoIP system to SAIC in Huntsville. In late February, the system was shipped and over the next 30 days, testing took place and thus confirmed concept validity.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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