When disaster strikes, the communications infrastructure is often among the first affected. Creating a fast, reliable communications link for video, voice and data will speed the effectiveness of First Responders and other public safety units.
Satellite Communications 'on-the-move' (SOTM)- meaning transmit and receive units installed on mobile land, air and sea vehicles -- offer true broadband communications without the need for any installed local infrastructure.
Designed initially for military applications, SOTM delivers mission critical video, voice and data from battle fields to command centers around the globe under the most extreme conditions.
Ed Mick, Sales Manager for General Dynamics' Longview, Texas facility, said, "General Dynamics developed the first practical 'on-the-move' satellite solutions for military applications years ago, and now this communications breakthrough is becoming available for first responders, disaster recovery and other Public Safety communications users."
"The April issue of "Mission Critical Communications" magazine features an article titled "Broadband Connectivity via Satellite" by Timothy Shroyer, Chief Technology Officer for General Dynamics' SATCOM Technologies business. The article nicely details the system design considerations and possible uses of this important new technology in the Public Safety sector, Mick said." Click here to view the article online.
In the article, Shroyer notes: "In the early phases of Incident Management, Satellite Communications On-the-Move terminals can provide connectivity for such critical applications as full-motion video for situation awareness, utilization of Internet-enabled databases and communications resources, and much more. Previously, this was only possible if broadband microwave, fiber, or other infrastructure was already available-infrastructure which was often damaged by disaster necessitating the response in the first place."
"But, selecting the right SATCOM-On-The Move terminal is a process far more complex than an analysis of cost vs. data rate," Shroyer added.
The wide variety of SOTM terminals available to commercial and military users today are as diverse as the platforms that carry them and differ widely depending upon requirements for upload and download speeds, transmission quality and vehicle selection.
"While the ultimate goal is to use satellite earth stations which are as small and light as possible, several trade-offs affect the ultimate coverage areas and communications data rates these systems can provide," Shroyer added. "SOTM system designers must optimize terminal size to satisfy the 'best' balance between performance, size, weight and power. Just as there is no single SOTM communications requirement, there is no single optimal SOTM terminal configuration."