SpaceX Employs Clear-Com's Concert for Landmark Mission

January 30, 2013

Intercom-over-IP Connects Remote Staff in All SpaceX Locations

Clear-Com®, a global leader in critical voice communication systems, is pleased to announce its role as a supplier of intercom systems to Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the first commercial company in history to put a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely to Earth. SpaceX’s remote users rely on Clear-Com’s ConcertTM IP-based intercom software to communicate within and among its four facilities, especially before and after spacecraft launches.

Deployed at SpaceX’s Hawthorne (Los Angeles) headquarters, the McGregor, Texas testing facility, and its Cape Canaveral launch site, Concert was used as the internal communications system for coordinating the most recent launch of its Dragon spacecraft. In this monumental undertaking, Dragon both delivered cargo to the International Space Station and returned cargo to Earth, successfully completing its first official operational resupply mission for NASA.

Concert is seamlessly integrated with SpaceX’s existing matrix intercom systems in the mission control rooms to enable those in mission control to collaborate and communicate fluidly with all remote personnel. Remote staff include anyone outside of the mission control rooms, whether in the same facility or in another area. Several hundred remote users, including engineers, flight operators and mission administrators, depend on Concert for reliable, flexible and high-quality communications.

Concert is the optimal communication solution for SpaceX operations. Concert offers a more feasible and cost-effective solution over hard-wired intercom user panels for the number of connected facilities and remote users. The system is highly scalable, interconnecting as few as two users to as many as a several hundred users in a single conference or in multiple, simultaneous conference sessions. Remote users can access Concert from any computer over any LAN, Wan or secure internet connection.

The system also meets the high audio performance that SpaceX requires for minimizing the possibility of communication interruptions and thereby ensuring the safety and success of every spacecraft launch operation. Supported by an ultra-wideband G.722 CODEC connection and built-in audio optimization features, every audio packet is ensured to be securely and instantly delivered. Concert has built-in echo cancellation, built-in redundancy, pack loss reconstruction, recovery algorithms and jitter buffer optimization.

Moreover, the comprehensive features of Concert make it extremely accommodating to SpaceX’s complex and dynamic operations. Concert’s grouping function, for instance, enables each remote user to tailor communication to specific departments and relevant sites. Each new user is also capable of installing and administering the intuitive software without prior training, saving SpaceX both time and money.

“Clear-Com has over forty years of experience and success in deploying intercom solutions around the world. Our intercom systems are used for command and control at NASA, along with many other recognized aerospace facilities nationwide,” says Mike Hughes, Clear-Com’s General Manager for Military, Aerospace, and Government (MAG). “We’re very proud to provide SpaceX with the right communication solution to help the company achieve its goals and continue its history-making endeavors.”