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Wallops Integrated Control Center

Control Center Wallops Integrated Control Center (WICC) consolidates the control of launch range and research airport operations. Instrumentation at the WICC also supports off-range balloon, sounding rocket and aeronautical projects.

Designed with the user in mind, the WICC is an information hub. Range data is provided by radar, telemetry, timing and weather systems, as well as off-range services. Communications include telephone, range intercom, radio and off-site links. Video is the usual method for the transmission and display of data throughout the facility. Command links provide flight termination and mission-dependent user functions. Communications are available - or can be quickly developed - to support a full range of operations at Wallops and worldwide.

The Range Data Acquisition and Computation (RADAC) System supports the WICC with redundant real-time data support, including impact prediction, for range safety and other test range requirements. The RADAC system provides a quick and flexible selection of data sources and displays. The video-switching network is the primary means of distributing data in the WICC. All critical instrumentation is supported by an uninterruptible power system and a backup power generator.

The expansion of the WICC, completed in 1992, included significant developments and enhancements:

  • Integration of RADAC real-time computer processing equipment
  • Development of a fully redundant real-time system
  • Development of a real-time graphic work station display network based on Ethernet allowing more flexible and responsive growth
  • Development of a new real-time data processing PC system
  • Generic Mission Controller Console development with total communications and video information access with quick configuration features
  • Expanded video switching access and display flexibility allowing for near complete distribution of all video and graphic data sources to any controller area
  • Large screen video displays in front staging area
  • Expanded video hard copy capabilities and near-future plans for quick-look video recording
  • New audio communications system providing total access to all voice sources and ease of distribution
  • Renovated instrumentation areas involving command, NASCOM, data handling and distribution and the previously mentioned video switch
  • Enhanced configuration control including system setup control (video software, new audio, etc.) as well as database documentation of cable installation.

The single-story first floor provides space for computer, communications and instrumentation support equipment. The second or main floor includes the mission control room (MCR) and adjacent side rooms for range safety, surveillance and down-range operations and data acquisition and processing. The two-story high MCR features large screen video displays, eight generic control consoles, a raised test director area, a VIP area and a rear balcony for Public Affairs Office observation. The fourth story Aeronautical Observation Facility tower provides visual observation of the research airport.

Capabilities by room are:

Instrumentation Room (First Floor)

  • External data and communications interface
  • Internal distribution hub
  • Intercom
  • Video switching and distribution
  • Command and keying equipment.

Computer Room (First Floor)

  • Real-time computer support
  • Data reduction.

Mission Control Room (Second - Main - Floor)

  • Two-stories high
  • Front stage video walls
  • VIP area
  • Test director stage and console
  • Eight generic consoles for mission-dependent assignments
  • Project engineer/manager
  • Vehicle manager
  • Payload manager
  • Experimenter
  • Range safety.

Secure Room (Second - Main - Floor)

  • NATC project support.

Data Acquisition Processing Room (Second - Main - Floor)

  • Data quality control (real-time processing and display)
  • Radar coordination
  • Telemetry coordination.

Range Safety Room (Second - Main - Floor)

  • Wind weighting
  • Flight safety.

Surveillance and Down Range Communications Room (Second - Main - Floor)

  • Communications coordination (radio)
  • Range surveillance coordination.

Weather Office (Third Floor)

  • Local forecasting
  • National weather system interface and AFOS.

Observation Corridor (Third Floor)

  • Public Affairs Observation of MCR.

Inside the Control Tower Aeronautical Observation Facility (Fourth Floor)

  • Four-stories high
  • 360-degree viewing glass
  • Accessible from MCR corridor
  • Generic consoles.