The Voice Systems Section was first formed in 1972 under the direction of George S. Kang. Our primary focus has been to research and develop new or improved tactical voice communication techniques and equipment. Over the years, many of our R&D products have been deployed by DoD.

Current and future research activity areas:

  • Signal Processing for Robust Long Haul Communications: The objective of this effort is to develop methods for combining incoherent radio frequency (RF) signals transmitted from multiple, uncoordinated relays for enhanced reception at a single receiving platform. These methods will enable long-haul communications with an inexpensive array of heterogeneous relays even though that array may have a constantly changing configuration with regard to relay availability, position, and spectral bandwidth. Important applications of this research include failsafe communications links or robust network control channels that do not depend on the network itself to function.
  • Low Power Digital Relay (LPDR): An R&D effort for extending LOS communications for tactical ground stations via small, low power, payloads supporting multiple relay channels. Near relay signals (High SNR) can interfer with a relay's ability to retransmit far signals (Low SNR). A novel approach to reduce power is investigated to enhance the relay's ability to retransmit multiple signals in the presence of high SNR interfering signals.

  • Tactical Secure Voice Cryptographic Interoperability Specification (TSVCIS): The Tactical Secure Voice Working Group was formed by the National Security Agency in 2008 to ensure that modernized tactical secure voice devices will be interoperable across the Department of Defense. The Naval Research Laboratory was tasked by the working group to develop the Tactical Secure Voice Cryptographic Interoperability Specification (TSVCIS), which became an official National Security Agency (NSA) document in July of 2009. The TSVCIS consists of two documents, one classified and the other unclassified. These documents define the voice encoding, encryption, framing, synchronization, key management, and other functions for tactical secure voice and data radio communications. This paper describes the unclassified portion of the TSVCIS and explains some of the improvements over the legacy tactical secure voice systems. It also describes how the modernized secure voice modes can provide even wider benefits in the future.