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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 The exploration of Mars has been an important part of the space exploration programs of the Soviet Union (later Russia), the United States, Europe, and Japan. Dozens of robotic spacecraft, including orbiters, landers, and rovers, have been launched toward Mars since the 1960s. , and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), civilian agency of the U.S. federal government with the mission of conducting research and developing operational programs in the areas of space exploration, artificial satellites (see satellite, artificial),  (NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
 in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Independent U.S.
) has already completed a successful test involving IP telephony The two-way transmission of voice over a packet-switched IP network, which is part of the TCP/IP protocol suite. The terms "IP telephony" and "voice over IP" (VoIP) are synonymous. . A distributed IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch eXchange) A telephone switch that supports voice over IP (VoIP). IP PBXs convert IP phone calls into traditional circuit-switched TDM connections for the PSTN.  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 NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) is a NASA facility located at Moffett Federal Airfield, which covers 43 acres at the borders of the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale in California. This research center is most commonly called NASA Ames.  in Mountain View, Calif. and NASA Glenn Research Center The Glenn Research Center (more correctly, the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field) is a NASA center, located in Cleveland, Ohio between Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and the Rocky River Reservation (part of the Cleveland Metroparks).  in Cleveland, Ohio "Cleveland" redirects here. For the Cleveland metropolitan area, see . For other uses, see Cleveland (disambiguation).
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state.

"Watching the Mars rover A Mars rover is an unmanned rover used for exploration of the planet Mars. They are deployed because it has so far been too costly and difficult to achieve a manned mission to Mars, and because probes and satellites are too limited (due to their immobility or their distance from  Spirit explore the Red Planet is incredibly exciting, but a manned mission will require voice communication," said Tom van Overbeek, Shoreline president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. . "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 A Telecommunications Service Provider or TSP is a type of Communications Service Provider that has traditionally provided telephone and similar services. This category includes ILECs, CLECs, and mobile wireless companies.  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 or call 1-877-80SHORE.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 26, 2004
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