Skip to main menu Skip to main content Skip to footer

Mercury ES offers real-time, multi-channel voice communications between operators regardless of security level or geographic location


Setting the Scene

Mercury ES is a truly flexible communications system capable of adapting to a multitude of operational scenarios. In the example that follows it is clear to see how Mercury ES is uniquely positioned to improve both strategic and tactical communications. It allows direct and conference calls to take place across separate domains and between multiple security levels in real time. Unlike other systems and technologies, Mercury ES allows these communications paths to be made and used instantly.

‘The system is the first “Protection Level 4” accredited and deployed VoIP technology that includes a sophisticated information assurance component for the Department of Defence intelligence community.’

Nov 2009 press release

Typical Scenario

A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) operating in Afghanistan is carrying out humanitarian operations when it comes under heavy and sustained ground fire from insurgents. Its military protection detail is in communication with all of the disparate elements that make up the PRT through its Mercury interoperability system and recognises the seriousness of the situation. The commander of the protection detail now speaks directly back to the Brigade Command (Bde Cmd) through a one-to-one call with operators who have also been monitoring the unfolding situation through a conference call which allows them to listen in to all of the PRT’s voice communications which they monitor as a matter of course.

A decision is made that additional support is required without delay and so Bde Cmd makes another direct one-to-one call to the commander of a Long Range Patrol (LRP) unit. Having ascertained their status they are tasked with going to the aid of the PRT. The PRT and LRP join a conference which establishes a vital communications network for the duration of their joint operation. This allows the two previously disconnected forces to communicate directly, one-to-one and without any delay. Bde Cmd also creates a conference call which allows them to monitor all radio traffic between the vehicles of the long range patrol giving them a wide overview of the mission as it proceeds. This overview can be fed back into other ongoing operations in the region

Having dispatched the LRP, Bde Cmd makes a direct call across security levels (from Bde Cmd at Secret Level to Div Cmd at Top Secret Level). This direct communication across these security levels is only possible because of the Mercury ES system. Div Cmd then sets up a conference call which bridges the security levels and allows them to monitor all aspects of the mission as it unfolds including all PRT and LRP communications as well as the communications between them and Bde Cmd. By actively tracking developments in this way they are perfectly placed to feed in intelligence gathered from surveillance and reconnaissance assets such as UAVs and satellites in real time to the troops on the ground. Mercury allows information to flow both in and out aiding other operations both current or planned in this region.

In addition the ability of multiple operators to speak directly to one another across security boundaries in real time means that operations by a number of distinct tactical units can be managed by commanders at different security levels in such a way that they do not come into conflict. This is especially so when multiple operations are taking place simultaneously. It also aids the commanders’ ability to instantly deploy other assets to ensure a successful conclusion to the mission.

Key Points
  • Proven track record since 1986
  • Specialised in audio communications systems for the most demanding applications
  • Creating systems that unlock the full potential of your communications, allowing cross domain and multi level discussion and disemmination of mission critical data without delays
  • High profile installations in the defence sector with clients such as the US Air Force relying on our technology

Key Challenges
  • Multi-Level Security – instant direct voice communications vertically both to higher and lower security levels
  • Cross-Domain Security – instant direct communications horizontally to other forces and/or agencies at the same or different security levels
  • Interoperability – disparate communications devices and networks need to communicate freely
  • Real Time Communications – information flow should be without delay regardless of the number of call participants, and without the risk of message passing via a 3rd party
  • Reliability – critical applications require robust, proven solutions
Key Features of the Trilogy System
  • Accredited for Multi-Level Security and Cross Domain communications
  • Full interoperability between all types and bands of radio, conventional, cell and SIP phones (and almost any other audio device) enables the inclusion of any and all of the critical participants
  • Real-time two way one to one, one to many, or full conference calls are supported
  • Mercury is a field proven, COTS product with installations around the globe
Equipment Used In This Scenario
  • Mercury Interface Unit with Radio Interface (RIB) and Telephone Expansion (FXS)
  • Mini Mercury Unit (MMU)
  • Military Radios in HF and VHF bands