Trunk Encryption Device
- wanted item
Mucolex was a Trunk Encryption Device (TED)
developed between 1970 and 1977
by Philips Usfa in Eindhoven (Netherlands) for use with
EUROCOM/DELTACS communications systems.
Within the Dutch Army it was part of the
ZODIAC integrated network,
and was known as
Bundel Vercijfer- Ontcijferapparaat.
It allowed multiplexed data streams to be sent encrypted over
line-of-sight radio links (LOS). It is therefore also known as
It is also known by its Philips Usfa designator UA-8451,
Dutch Army designator KY-4651
and as NSN 5810-17-044-3508.
The image on the right shows a typical Mucolex unit mounted inside a special
rack. The unit in the image is probably an early protype , as it
differs from the final version (see below).
Mucolex was housed in a ruggedized military-grade die-cast aluminium case,
that weights 22 kg. It allowed a collection of multiplexed external lines,
from a variety of sources, both analogue and digital, to be encrypted and sent
over a line-of-sight radio link at a maximum speed of 1024 kb/s.
Initially it was used with Teletype (telex) equipment and telephone sets.
Mucolex has had an extremely long life span.
The first units were introduced in 1977 and were used for many years on
individual line-of-sight radio links.
Between 1977 and 1982, approx. 550 Mucolex units were built.
Some were still in use in 2005 .
When the new ZODIAC
tactical communication system was introduced in the mid-1980s,
Mucolex was seemlessly integrated with it. A new device — known as
BVO — was developed as part of
It was compatible with Mucolex and was able to pass its multiplexed
data stream to a fully automatic switch.
Even after ZODIAC was replaced by its
successor TITAAN, Mucolex
remained in use for several more years, for which
the ZODIAC BVO units were modified
for use with TITAAN — Forward Error Correction (FEC) was added —
allowing users to connect to a variety of networks,
including the internet, via existing 1 Mb/s line-of-sight radio links.
Some units were still in use in 2005 .
Development of Mucolex took nearly 7 years: from 1970 to 1977.
After the initial functional design, the final version was constructed.
Once that was done, the design was hardly changed.
Nevertheless, its development
faced many setbacks, mainly caused by EMC/TEMPEST problems.
After many flaming discussions with RVO-TNO, about the requirements
and about the way the tests were conducted, the device was finally
approved by SECAN.
Between 1977 and 1982, about 550 units were built.
They were sold to the Dutch Army, the Dutch Airforce and to Greece .
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 25 March 2012. Last changed: Wednesday, 01 January 2020 - 18:03 CET.