ARIA

Apollo/Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft

Worldwide Support of Space and Earth Programs for 35 Years

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Patrick Air Force Base

    The focal point for command and control of the Air Force EC-135N ARIA is through a command post located in the Aircraft Operations Control Center (AOCC) at Patrick AFB, Florida.

    It is from this command center that deployment and monitoring of the ARIA is maintained. Using a complex worldwide communications network, personnel on duty at the AOCC make certain that the ARIA covering an Apollo flight are in position to support the mission at the right place and at the right time.

    Personnel at the AOCC are in continuous contact with all airborne aircraft, regardless of their worldwide location. The AOCC is linked to a network communication system made up of both the NASA Manned Space Flight and Department of Defense networks. There are two circuit links between the AOCC and each ARIA. One circuit permits communications between the crews in the aircraft and personnel at the AOCC. The other circuit is configured to relay voice contact with the astronauts through Cape Kennedy Air Force Station where it is tied-in with the NASA network and fed to MCC in Houston.

    The AOCC team acts as a key communication link between the Mission Control Center, Goddard, and ARIA. The system can receive, verify, and relay voice and teletype messages and information.

    The AOCC team acts as a key communication link between the Mission Control Center, Goddard, and ARIA. The system can receive, verify, and relay voice and teletype messages and information.

    Throughout the entire mission, constant updated spacecraft trajectory information is provided to the AOCC from the MCC in Houston. If, for any reason, the planned orbit of the spacecraft changes, the MCC can query the AOCC about the feasibility of redeploying the ARIA. By use of high speed computers, personnel in the AOCC can provide alternate test support positions and compensate for almost any contingency. In addition, they continuously monitor the quality of the ARIA support.

Source: USAF