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NASA's Simulated Mars Mission Uses Shoreline IP PBX for Voice Communications.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 26, 2004

Shoreline's Voice System Exceeds Expectations with its Easy

Deployment, Transparent Usability, Flexibility and Reliability

Voice communication is essential to any manned exploration of Mars, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has already completed a successful test involving IP telephony. A distributed IP PBX from Shoreline Communications, the specialist in enterprise IP voice systems(TM), provided the infrastructure linking the Utah desert test site with NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. and NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Watching the Mars rover Spirit explore the Red Planet is incredibly exciting, but a manned mission will require voice communication," said Tom van Overbeek, Shoreline president and CEO. "While an actual manned flight is years away, today's IP voice technology gave a very good accounting of itself in the recent Mars Mobile Agents test."

The Mobile Agents project conducts field simulations of planetary exploration to develop operational concepts, software and technology that can be used for future missions, including manned trips to Mars. In the recent Mars Mobile Agents pilot, the voice system was used to call for emergency service, to provision replacements for faulty equipment, to troubleshoot problems, and for general day-to-day communications with the NASA home offices. Cell phone coverage is non-existent at the remote desert test site, so NASA needed a voice system that could use less-than-optimal data links.

"Only the Shoreline system met all of NASA's requirements," said Scott Strochak, president and CEO of Xtelesis, the Shoreline channel partner that worked with NASA to select and implement the voice solution. "Shoreline exceeded expectations, and the test was a great success."

The test site was one of the desert and arctic habitat facilities maintained by the Mars Society -- a private international organization dedicated to the exploration of the Red Planet -- to simulate harsh conditions on such remote planetary surfaces. Any voice system used by NASA in the Mars Mobile Agents pilot faced a number of challenges, including:

-- The system had to be deployed in a very short time by a staff

with no special telephony or VoIP expertise.

-- The configuration of the voice network was very unusual and

highly distributed, with the server at the NASA Ames Research

Center in Mountain View, the interface to the

telecommunications service provider at the Ohio facility, and

phone extensions at the Utah test site.

-- The IP voice traffic had to run over a satellite link and

short-haul microwave connections powered by generators.

-- The voice system needed to leverage traditional handsets and

interoperate with borrowed equipment.

Strochak said installing and configuring Shoreline's software and hardware across the three locations was quite simple. The equipment deployed in the field was rugged and non-intrusive and transparently easy to use. NASA has purchased the Shoreline voice system and incorporated it into a transportable earth station that carries scientific instruments into the simulated planetary environments.

About Shoreline Communications

Shoreline Communications, Inc. is the specialist in enterprise IP voice systems. Thousands of enthusiastic users worldwide are taking advantage of the company's award-winning distributed IP PBX technology, leveraging expertise and resources across multiple sites to improve customer service, increase employee productivity and lower operational costs. Shoreline has a select group of global channel partners that provide top-notch service and support. For more information, visit http://www.shorelinecommunications.com or call 1-877-80SHORE.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 26, 2004
Words:557
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