HF Radio


Web-Based HF Radio System Monitoring

Red/Black is a management product that monitors and controls devices and servers, with a particular focus on HF Radio systems.


Red/Black is a Web-based server that can provide control and monitoring of different devices and servers. This is intended to complement, not replace, the primary device management tools. Red/Black servers can operate in a pair, to monitor and control devices across a secure boundary. A detailed description of Red/Black is provided in the [Red/Black overview] whitepaper.

Red/Black is designed to support HF Radio systems and to display and manage communication chains. This is described in the whitepaper [HF Circuits: Automation & Evolution with STANAG 5066].

Usage Overview


A Red side operator view of Red/Black can be seen in the above screenshot:

  • Devices are arranged in “communication chains”, so that the operator can clearly see how devices are connected.
  • The Red/Black boundary is clearly shown, along with crypto and guard devices that sit on the boundary.
  • Black side devices are clearly shown to the right of the boundary. A black side operator can use Red/Black to monitor and manage these devices on black side (without any red side visibility).
  • Red side servers (all Isode products in this screen shot) are monitored and controlled to the left of the boundary.
  • The Red/Black top screen shows key status parameters for each device to enable primarily monitoring to be handled from the top screen.
  • Alerts are shown in the bottom right hand corner and devices with pending alerts that have not been read by operator are shown clearly.
  • Devices can be selected to give access to more detailed parameters and control of selected parameters.
  • Red/Black enables configuration of device connectivity by operators (for switchable configuration) and by administrators (to reflect physical configuration)

The above diagram shows the Red/Black architecture. Key points to note:

  • There are two Red/Black servers, one on each side of the secure boundary.
  • Isode’s M-Guard product is used to control flow of status and control messages across the boundary
  • Devices can be present on both sides of the boundary. Black side devices can be managed red side or black side.
  • Device types are specified with an XML “abstract specification” so that no product changes are needed to support new devices.
  • Devices need drivers.

Red/Black provides support for the following devices:

  • Modems (as supported by Icon-5066)
    • Collins: RT-2200A; HSM 2500; Q9600
    • RapidM: RM6; RM8; RM10
    • Thales: TRX 1774
  • Generic SNMP Devices supported by standard MIBs:
    • System MIB (enables basic monitoring of most SNMP capable devices)
    • Host MIB (to monitor a host)
    • UPS MIB (to monitor an uninterruptable power supply)
  • Specific SNMP Devices:
    • Leonardo HF 2000 Radio
    • IES Antenna Switch
    • eLogic/Leonardo Radio Gateway
    • IES Antenna Rotator
  • Isode products with special drivers
    • M-Switch
    • M-Vault
    • Icon-5066
  • TCP devices – a TCP driver can provide basic up/down status monitoring for a number of devices, including the following Isode products:
    • Harrier
    • M-Box
    • M-Link
    • Icon-PEP
    • Cobalt

For other devices, three options are available:

  1. Red/Black has an open design that allows for third party device drivers to be implemented by partners or customers. Isode supplies an open source C++ reference driver on Github to facilitate development of such drivers.
  2. Isode can quote for device driver development for a specific device with a clearly specified management interface.
  3. For SNMP managed devices with suitable MIBs, customers or Isode can develop abstract device specifications.

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