Satellite and radio manage disaster

By Elizabeth Latham, Journalist
Tuesday, 05 June, 2007

Radio and satellite have combined to provide a service that will set up a virtual radio network virtually anywhere in the world. It is specifically designed for firefighters, state emergency workers, police and life savers.

Joint provider of the system, TR Corporation was approached by a major state emergency services organisation seeking a reliable solution for field communications. The company partnered with local communications experts Beam Satellite and together they produced SatRADIO Rapid Response RST825.

It was developed for use in emergency services, disaster management and mining application, and is designed specifically for integrating Iridium satellite networks and two-way radio communications.

This includes locations that are typically hard to reach by radio, like rugged mountain ranges and offshore locations.

The unit incorporates a radio and an Iridium phone. The radio that is built into the unit needs to be programmed to the emergency radio systems' frequencies, and it will receive transmissions as any other radio in the fleet would and re-transmit them over Iridium.

In simple terms, by using a handheld or fixed two-way radio on the same frequency as the SatRADIO, users can answer or make telephone calls over the two-way radio interface.

The device can provide a virtual radio network over the satellite network. By using this functionality, a voice circuit can be established between the terminal and all its users on that same channel and the called party.

The unit doesn't rely on any local infrastructure to work. It is available in VHF, UHF and P25 digital and any portable two-way radio can be used. The unit cannot be used for data transmission.

Key features of SatRADIO include: durable hard plastic case; radio network integration; standard push to talk technology; lithium iron battery; battery back-up - up to 50 hours; supports analog and digital radio handsets; 11-32 VDC power input; supports intelligent user handset; initiates a virtual radio network; supports one-to-many and many-to-one; make and receive satellite calls; simple dual-tone multi-frequency dialling access; pin code for secure satellite calls.

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