Communications and Control (C2)

The C2 is the link for direct communication between the mobile RMS and the U.S. based Agile Manufacturing Cells (AMC). A key function is the management and transmission of the engineering and manufacturing data required to produce replacement parts.

The program’s engineering and manufacturing database serves as the manufacturing foundation for the MPH program. The part database is managed by a Product Data Management software (WindChillTM) that is incorporated into the communications center. This software is designed to operate in a distributed engineering environment and consequently facilitates the control and transfer of information between multiple units. Producing parts on demand with a CAD/CAM data library provides a distinct advantage in timeliness. If the data is not available in the database either outside sources must be queried or reverse engineering is required. The MPH program continually identifies and adds part data to this database by gathering or creating the manufacturing data. The Standard for Exchange of Product (STEP) Data format is the current, universally adaptable CAD language and manufacturing data format of choice and is being utilized by the MPH program.

The C2 utilizes a two-way satellite system to provide the communications link between the AMC, the RMS, and the Army’s established logistics systems. The system provides audio, video and data exchange capabilities. The C2 satellite data transfer system can receive/send both CAD and/or CAM data from the RMS located anywhere in the world. The transferred data can be directly fed into the either of the manufacturing machines or into the Pro-Engineering workstation for further model definition and storage.

TACOM-TARDEC (Warren, Michigan) is a likely location for the Communications and Control Center, which will network the RMS fleet and Agile Manufacturing Cells. Tentative plans are to merge the MPH C2 activities with those of the Emergency Operations Center already located at TACOM.