KVM products have long been an integral part of IT infrastructures of ATC control room applications. They extend and switch computer signals thus allowing the remote operation of computers or the real-time access to several computers. Especially in mission-critical sectors such as airspace surveillance, KVM devices have a firmly established place. A prime example is the KVM switch DP1.2-MUX3-ATC, which was specially developed to meet the requirements of air traffic controls and will be presented at the World ATM Congress 2018. Guntermann & Drunck GmbH will be presenting a wide range of KVM solutions for mission-critical work applications such as airspace surveillance control rooms at booth 433, 6-8 March 2018.

Fast switching, safe systems and redundant components

The KVM switch DP1.2-MUX3-ATC allows the operation of up to three computers and ultra-fast switching between computers. This makes redundancy concepts easy to implement and offers extremely secure systems. ATCOs are able to operate their primary, redundancy and fallback systems from the same workstation. If a system error occurs or a computer fails, the device automatically switches to the redundant computer within a fraction of a second. As a hardware switch, it only accesses the computer’s standard interfaces and therefore does not require any software installation – another important aspect especially with regard to cyber security.

The DP1.2-MUX3-ATC supports DisplayPort1.2 resolutions and therefore also supports high-resolution 4K video at 60 Hz. It switches latency and loss-free between the individual channels and can also be combined with extender systems. This way, any computers can be removed from the working environment of ATCOs who are now able to operate them remotely. This is an additional advantage for administrators who can maintain the systems in the background without interrupting the work of the controllers on the primary system.

The system provides many mission-critical functions such as the screen-freeze function, SNMP and monitoring for preventive health management of the system components – for 100% secure round-the-clock operation.

Compressed or uncompressed video transmission for the ATC sector?

Thanks to their many years of experience in the ATC sector, G&D are able to both develop tailor-made products and functionalities especially for ANSPs and advise them on the implementation of their individual projects. The question of image quality and therefore the question of compressed or uncompressed image transmission is often one of the main aspects for air traffic controllers when choosing KVM equipment. Thanks to its in-depth market expertise, G&D are able to support air navigation services providers in their decisions for the fitting technology. Uncompressing systems such as the KVM extender DP1.2-VisionXG extend the incoming high-resolution video transparently and with any loss and yet display the image pixel by pixel and absolutely unaltered at the remote workstation. For the uncompressed transmission of high-resolution images, these systems therefore require a high bandwidth, which in turn requires more powerful components. DP1.2-VisionXG transmits information pixel-perfect, latency- and loss-free. High-resolution 4K and 8K video signals can be transmitted up to 10,000 m at a full refresh rate of 60 Hz.

Compressing KVM systems such as the KVM extender DP1.2-Vision also guarantee very high video quality and are therefore often used by ANSPs. By compressing the video signals, the systems require a lower bandwidth and allow for more cost-effective components. The distance between the technical room and the workstation can be bridged using classic CAT cables or fibre optics. A central advantage is the possibility to process, extend and switch compressed signals via KVM matrix systems. With the help of KVM matrix switches, complex installations with multiple computers and workstations can be implemented and users are still able to independently access the remote computers.

G&D even developed their own compression method High Dynamic Image Processing, Level 3. Despite its lower bandwidth, it enables latency-free, pixel-perfect transmission and very high image quality and is therefore a perfect match for the ATC sector. Following G&D’s principle of mix & match, all devices are compatible and can be combined with each other. The digital matrix switches ControlCenter-Digital and ControlCenter-Compact can also be combined with the compressing KVM extender DP1.2-Vision. This enables not only the extension but also the distributed switching of high-resolution 4K video signals by matrix systems.

With their new KVM-over-IP devices, G&D complete their product range and currently offer the probably broadest and most powerful KVM portfolio on the market.

Numerous renowned air traffic controls already use G&D equipment and thus benefit from the company’s 30-year experience of developing KVM devices. At the World ATM Congress in Madrid, interested ANSPs can experience the latest trends, innovations and future-oriented KVM technologies and get advice on how to implement their individual projects.