Thursday, 18 December 2014

NATO Personnel Successfully Complete Data Link Manager (DLM) /Interface Control Officer (ICO) Training Course

SyntheSys is delighted to announce that personnel from the Italian Data Link Management Cell (DLMC), NATO Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC), Poggio Renatico (ITALY), Norwegian Logistics Organisation and Netherlands National DLMC have successfully completed our three week Data Link Manager/Interface Control Officer (DLM/ICO) Training Course.

Students firstly undertook theory lessons combined with the use of simulation and real world operational software, focusing on Link 1, 11, 16, 22, VMF and JREAP.  They then progressed to several challenging planning exercises based upon large scale multinational operations where the students had to identify, and subsequently utilise, a variety of Multi Tactical Data Link (TDL) Information Exchange Requirements (IERs).

Using the specific Joint Tactical Information Distribution System/Multifunctional Information Distribution System Information Exchange Requirements (JTIDS/MIDS IERs) a Link 16 Network Design Document (NDD) set was prepared for the students.  Through a guided session they were shown how to interpret and fully understand all parts of an NDD with emphasis on the Connectivity Matrix.

Finally, using their planning scenarios, operational signals and the combination of simulation, they created numerous Multi TDL architectures to confirm that their plan would work correctly.  This check of understanding using simulation provided an ideal environment for all students to achieve their individual learning outcomes.

SyntheSys would like to thank all of the personnel who attended in making this a highly effective and enjoyable course.  Also, we would like to extend our personal appreciation to the Italian DLMC for kindly hosting the course.

Our next DLM/ICO courses are already confirmed for Norway in March and at CAOC Uedem in June of 2015.  If you would like to know more about these courses, or indeed any of our training courses, please contact or visit

Friday, 28 November 2014

SyntheSys’ SPIRIT tool set supports Sweden’s Försvarets Materielverk (FMV)

We are pleased to announce that Sweden’s Försvarets Materielverk (FMV) has selected our SPIRIT interoperability management process and tool set to support the integration and testing of a new Data Link Processor(DLP) and maintenance of existing Link 16 capability for the Swedish Air Force’s ASC-890 airborne early warning aircraft.

The ASC-890 (Airborne Surveillance and Control) is based on the Saab 340 airframe and Saab’s Erieye airborne early warning and control system.  The DLP will help to sustain the platform’s Link 16 Tactical Data Link (TDL) operations.

The SPIRIT process and tool set supports comprehensive systems engineering-based testing, as well as compatibility with the iSMART TDL requirements management method.  SPIRIT verifies the requirements through Unified Modelling Language (UML) models of the governing standards, ensuring a complete, consistent, and correct baseline against which testing can be carried out.  The same models are used to define the minimum set of test cases necessary for comprehensive validation of the platform’s implementation against the standards and original requirements.  The tool set, based on the IBM Rational range of software, provides full traceability of requirements from the governing standards, through the iSMART documentation set, to test cases, test scripts and  test results.

John Hartas, SyntheSys Managing Director, commented ''the sale provides further confirmation of our investment in developing processes and tools that support a through-life management approach to TDL interoperability assurance''. 

For further information, please email

For further information on our IBM rational services, please click here.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Great to see you at IDLS!

As Berlin marks the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November 1989, we reflect on our attendance at the International Data Link Symposium (IDLS) 2014.

In keeping with our overall business objective to create an integrated Tactical Data Link (TDL) Community, we were pleased to see so many delegates participate in our ‘Follow the Link’ activity. Congratulations to Mads Pedersen and Andreas Saatze who were each the lucky winners of a Kindle Fire HD6.

Our training day for this year’s show took an interactive approach and was based primarily on our Data Link Manager/Interface Control Officer (DLM/ICO) training course.  The DLM/ICO course is designed to inform individuals with little or no knowledge of TDLs and associated responsibilities to a stage where they can plan, design and manage Data Link Networks.  Many thanks to those who attended.

The Data Link Training Suite (DLTS) was in full force at the event and we are eagerly anticipating further discussions about this powerful application and how it will shape the future of TDL Training.

Our educational contribution did not end there.  Our Advanced Link 16 presentation, as part of the educational stream, gave delegates an understanding about Joint Tactical Information Distribution System/Multifunctional Information Distribution System (JTIDS/MIDS) Link 16.  The presentation focused on time slot structure and how to calculate a specific Network Participation Group (NPG) capacity within Network Designs which stimulated some excellent discussion points.

For delegates particularly interested in Variable Message Format (VMF), we delivered a presentation on Day 2 giving an introduction to this subject.  
You can access the presentation material relevant to the workshops and courses you attended on the IDLS website.  

We extend special thanks to Diginext with whom we partnered to deliver our Open Test Lab.  The Test Lab enabled us to establish a common interface in order to demonstrate requirements engineering, development engineering, testing, training, analysis and results recording.  These functions are then able to support individual programmes and the system-of-systems for interoperability through-life.

Here at SyntheSys, we look forward to the annual IDL Symposium and this year’s event did not disappoint.  It was a great opportunity to talk to our customers and friends, old and new and as ever, we had an enjoyable time in Berlin. 

Visit our IDLS Virtual Networking Site or contact 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

IDLS 2014 - The Countdown Begins

We will be in Berlin, Germany for the International Data Links Symposium 2014. IDLS 2014 is particularly exciting for us as it gives us the opportunity to showcase the innovations we've made over the past 12 months in the following areas:
  • Testing, Evaluation & Assurance Management 
  • Data Link Sustainment - What Next? 
  • The Training Revolution - What's changing Within the TDL Community? 

For the full agenda and further information visit our Virtual Networking site here:

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Finnish JDLOC Undertake SyntheSys Link 16 Network Design Training Course

Personnel from the Finnish Joint Data Link Operations Centre have just completed an 8 day intensive Link 16 Network Design training course.  The course was held in the beautiful city of Jyväskylä in central Finland.

The course focused on the knowledge and tools required to equip students in correctly identifying specific information exchange requirements, how to coordinate more closely with other JTIDS/MIDS nations and organisations, and how efficient use of network capacity using Network Participation Groups (NPG) should be performed.

During the training course the students were continuously challenged through progressive practical exercises in which they had to create a variety of intricate networks.  This expanded their understanding of Link 16 Network Design allowing them to explore all functionalities, and more significantly, platform idiosyncrasies.  Personnel utilised the TDL Network Design Station (TNDS) throughout the course and the tool supported the students in achieving all of their learning outcomes.

To learn more about our training, please visit or contact

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Impact of Ineffective Project Management on Project Risks

It’s well known that ineffective project management can cost projects dearly.  Over my many years of working with Government Defence organisations and contractors, I have worked with a variety of Project Managers, some good, some bad.  Something that most Project Managers are very good at doing is identifying risks and understanding how to cope with the eventuality that sometimes, worst case scenarios happen.

What Project Managers never ever plan for is the risk of, well, bad project management.  Planning contingencies for your own pitfalls is a difficult planning activity indeed - something that even the most self-enlightened individuals would have a job to fulfil.

It’s a question of perspective . . .
If we take the ethos from the Wanda Curlee and Robert L. Gordon publication ‘Complexity Theory and Project Management’, it’s clear that effective project planning and management is more than just a list of activities.  Juggling lengthy decision making processes, promoting flexibility and creativeness whilst, at the same time, maintaining structure and prioritising despite unpredictable workflows can be difficult.  It’s easy to see why so many competent, educated and experienced managers occasionally get it so wrong.

So whilst you may be thinking, ‘who in their right mind would put themselves in a Risk Register?’  It may be worth noting the words of Albert Einstein: “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”
Many of the project managers I have worked with are from a technical background and have found themselves in a ‘project management’ position through technical excellence rather than a wealth of experience managing projects.  I often wonder what could be achieved with a better understanding of one’s own weaknesses and how, in risk management terms, these can be avoided.

So how do we become more self-aware when assessing and managing risks?

·                 Assess your entire team: You are part of the team, identify your own ability to support the project at the early stages

·         Don’t underestimate your own time: Up to 20% of total project delivery timeframe is spent managing the project.  Schedule the right amount of time to Project Management and ensure this is factored into the overall project plan.  Give yourself the required time to manage the project effectively and set expectations of that time requirement.

·         Don’t overestimate your own ability:  Are you confident that your own training and experience places you at the right level to manage your current project?  Again, many Project Managers are placed due to their technical expertise and ability to deliver high quality.  Does your level of project management capability match your technical knowledge?

·         Don’t learn ‘on the job’: Don’t use your project as a ‘Learning Curve’ which will ultimately lead to delays and cost overrun.  Ensure you have the time, skills and commitment to ensure project success prior to commissioning your project.

·         De-risk yourself with training: Perhaps the most obvious practical solution.  Project Management training is a sure fire way of ensuring you do not become your projects biggest invisible risk.

As painful (and seemingly ridiculous) as it is to admit that you may be a risk to your own project, it makes perfect sense to identify that risk and manage it accordingly, as with any other logical process within your Project Management procedure.

For more information on how to accelerate your Project Management capability visit 

Friday, 19 September 2014

SyntheSys extends its Training Capability via Partnership with Training Bytesize to Deliver Online Project Management Courses

Whitby, UK September 2014.  SyntheSys, leader in Military communication systems, announces its latest strategic alliance with the largest provider of multilingual online management training courses, Training Bytesize.

This alliance is part of the company’s diversification efforts and drives forward SyntheSys’ ‘end-to-end’ approach to its product and service portfolio, which aims to holistically enhance technical performance and management.  The partnership will see a wealth of different project management courses offered as part of the company’s training capability, namely, AGILE Project Management courses, Association of Project Management courses and certification and the prestigious PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner course.  SyntheSys can also offer management and acceleration online courses around how to manage benefits and teaches how organisations can formulate better business cases.

SyntheSys’ training team are particularly excited about this alliance as it gives both military and civilian customers a convenient pathway to gain the knowledge and skills they need to accelerate projects.

“There is no doubt about it, offering Project Management Training is a logical way to serve our markets more effectively by supporting the processes and procedures surrounding Tactical Data Link implementation and management.  Offering these courses online is a simple way to ensure timely training and reduce training overheads”, commented SyntheSys Marketing Manager, Sarah Jagger.  Lauren Tudor, Client Relationship Manager at Training Bytesize added: ‘We are delighted to be in partnership with SyntheSys.  With the combined knowledge and experience of both businesses in the training arena, it makes sense to join forces.  Together SyntheSys and Training Bytesize provide a perfect blend of expertise to provide customers with a training solution that fits.’

For more information on Project Management Training or wider training capability visit:

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

SyntheSys Continues to Deliver TDL Network Design Station (TNDS) Training

You only need to look at our customer satisfaction rates to get a real feel for how our students benefit from attending a SyntheSys course.

Our latest collaboration with HP Enterprise Services Defence & Security UK Ltd has seen the Austrian Air Force partake in TNDS training in the scenic town of St Johann im Pongau near the Austrian Alps. The main focus of the 4 day course was to ensure that students understood the functionality and performance of the Link 16 Network Design Tool. 

Students were instructed in the use of several other applications that support the user in the planning of Link 16 architecture and identifying and correcting issues with imported network designs. In addition, personnel were taught how to correctly assess user requirements to identify the most efficient use of network capacity.

For further information on our TNDS training courses or any of our training and support services, please contact or call UK +44 (0) 1947 821464.

Monday, 14 July 2014

NATO Personnel Complete SyntheSys Data Link Manager (DLM) / Interface Control Officer (ICO) Course

SyntheSys is extremely pleased to announce that 12 NATO personnel have just completed our DLM/ICO Course.  The 3 week intensive course supported by 2 instructors was kindly hosted by the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem, Germany.  NATO was represented by personnel from CAOC Uedem and CAOC Torrejon, Spain and the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) based at Poggio Renatico, Italy.  Also, in attendance were personnel from the Netherlands National Data Link Management Cell.

Personnel were instructed on Link 1, 11, 11B, 16, 22, Variable Message Format and Joint Range Extension Application Protocol (JREAP) making it a truly Multi Tactical Data Link (TDL) course.  However, unlike other training programmes, personnel continuously utilised real-life operational software and simulation systems to reinforce theory lessons.  These included: Daronmont Data Link Training Suite (DLTS); Diginext TACTX; Hewlett Packard TDL Network Design Station (TNDS) and Engility Joint Range Extension (JRE) software.  These added benefits allowed personnel to swiftly grasp the complexities that surround TDLs and their operational use.

The course is designed with particular emphasis on practical exercises and the subsequent use of those systems described above.  To progressively challenge students on their understanding of the Multi TDL Planning process, they were tasked to create several complex Multi TDL architectures based upon real-life scenarios.  Furthermore, students then briefed their Multi TDL plan and subsequently validated their architecture through the use of simulation.  This check of understanding provided an invaluable learning experience and enabled them to confirm that their architecture would work in reality.

Those who undertook this training course came from a breadth of national and diverse backgrounds, and ranged in rank from Sergeant to Lieutenant Colonel.  This provided an excellent base for personnel to share their own experience and conversely learn from others.

SyntheSys would firstly like to thank the students involved in the course in making this a great success, and secondly personnel at CAOC Uedem whose efforts in organising this course are greatly appreciated.

A second course is already in planning for later this year with the location yet to be confirmed. If you require any further information on this immersive training course or indeed any of our training courses, then please contact SyntheSys Training at or call UK +44 (0)1947 821464.