Found this intesting article at the Ham radio Online site. I think this kind of thing can be used as an -eventually-replacing ARES/RACES or the emergency communcations function that the Amateur community provides.
http://www.hamradio-online.com/ #Published by Edward Mitchell, BSCS/MBA, KF7VY, email@example.com
Scroll down to Thursday Feb.14 "Of Interest"
The Navy has built (with more on the way) a rapid (or staged) humvee with extensive communication to be used during an emergency event.
Below is an excerpt of the aritcle Ed was writing about:
"The U.S. Navy is providing a satellite-link backup system at the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic Games to allow emergency communications to function in the event of a crisis.
About 70,000 daily visitors are expected at the Olympics, and most of them will probably have cell phones. Although Olympic organizers and their technology sponsors have worked to increase cell network capacity, a major emergency could see all communications networks overloaded as panicked civilians clog the same networks that emergency personnel must use.
As a backup, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., has deployed a pilot vehicle as a mobile communications center in Summit County, the mountainous site of several Olympic events.
The Office of Naval Research supported the development of a Humvee outfitted with the capability of instantly providing two-way satellite commercial links, data networking, land-based mobile radio networking and a private cellular telephone network.
The Olympic Challenge
The system even handles streaming video. "We can deliver telephone and data connectivity anywhere," said Chris Herndon, the NRL project manager for InfraLynx (Infrastructure Linkage and Restoration), the Humvee
I am suggesting for discussion that this is a "handrighting on the wall" event. Between the dwindling of our numbers and lack of John Q. Public even knowing we exist. Authorities will be excited about this. I wonder how many Fed/State/County/Municipality, Emergency Managers like this idea, especially as a replacement to Amateur Radio. I've read (even on QRZ) how new 800mhz system had authorities telling Hams, "Thanks for all you've done, now go away, we've got it under control now." Of course they ask us back after and "event" disables the fancy-smancy 20 million dollar systems, but its the prevailing attitude about hams that #government authorities have, I'm concerned about.
I would like some REALLY -positive suggestions- to short and long term thing any of us can do, not the usual "Everything is going downhill in the hobby because of this or that group, PLEASE!" comments
How'bout it people
Jensen Beach, FL
Well, here in NC as in other sections the key is visability
to the EM personnel, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and
other customers. Even the Army National Guard uses us
to ride in their vehicles and provide commo sometimes,
as of course, most of their vehicles have no TOE
commo equipment mounted.
The USCG will helo our people onto the outer banks islands when necesary.
Our SEC is interfacin' with the MARS and CAP personnel
to integrate our systems.
I guess that if your section appointees do their jobs,
it will fall into place. Ours are constantly attendin' conferences, planin' meetin's, etc
The state built us a nice commo center at their forward
stagin' area. They fund equipment purchases, etc.
73 de Ronnie
Well, the Amateur Community will never be able to compete with that kind of capability. However, the Navy isn't going put one of those in every community either.
Fine Job by the Government for putting some resources at the games. I don't think your standard group of ACS/RACES guys with their 2M circuits are going to be much good to 70,000 people in such a concentrated area if a crisis hits.
It's a tough one for Hams though. Society is becoming increasingly more reliant on technology and in an emergency will need it to function. As amateurs, we need to be able to fill that need. When all the Lans go down, how can we help restore some connectivity. I'm not a whiz at Lan's or wireless data transfer, but it appears that we need to be able to establish some kind of wireless Local Area Network (I.P. based) with work stations at each ECC in your typical county. And perhaps be able to link one of those stations with the internet in the nearest un-affected area. Now we're talking expertise and financial resources beyond many of your typical hams.
Very Tough Problem.
At least two RACES organizations in my experience had vehicles--a camp trailer in one case and motorhome in the other--that were rigged with multi-mode communications capabilites. I'm sure nobody ever considered the possibility of trying to compete with the Navy for complexity, but the principle is the same. I join the other ham who applauded them for making that level of capability available where it is needed!
This may serve to deminish our roll in very large events planed months if not years in advance. However, the navy nor anynoe else can "plan" earthquakes, tornados, lost children, etc. even five minutes in advnce, much less far enough in advance to deploy der vunder hummer or a row boat for that matter.
I don't feel threatened by anything the burocrocy does if for no other reason than it's collective attention span. If the Navy can come up with a workable system for large events or what ever,well , more power to 'em. Don't see tripping over der vunder hummer at the next quake or flood here in N.W. WA. and we have plenty of Navy to trip over here now.
On the up side, I hope they can work something out. You can't have too many real opptions at a real emergency.
73 de Craig........KC0GOA
Well my friend, the problem comes in when we say (in the future) that "We can operate it".
I'm in the Navy Submarine Service 16 years and counting (Communications ETCS(SS) ) and I don't see hams ever coming along making that claim......... Maybe so.... But this stuff ever ending up in the surplus market and actually being applicable(when it does) is something I don't ever see.
For this event (Olympics, that is), consider the National Climate, I'm sure that resources were set aside (SATCOM) that normally aren't available and definitely won't ever be surplus!!!
Big events will enjoy similar support like this in the future (Times have changed.....New Cabinet posit for Homeland security)
The set-up in UTAH was probablly quite capable and would likely blow the socks off all of us combined.
However, as has been said......... They won't be and can't be, at every disaster.......... We still can provide much needed support.....
Wouldn't it be nice, if we as a Ham community, are ready and able to transmit/relay (Wireless if need be) an extensive Excel spreadsheet (outlining damage assesments) to D.C.
Now with that kind of capability we are very usefull and invaluable .................... and we will get and keep the attention of the folks who make decisions about our future as a Ham Community.
There has to be a way to make Amateurs proficient at an evolution like that.
Anyway, My second post on this topic so I'll bow out gracefully
Similar systems are all over. New Hampshire has 3 Federal Government radio systems that weigh about 75lbs and are a bit bigger than your standard 2m Repeater. The multi channel system will "patch" any frequency to any frequency on VHF Low, High, UHF & 800Mhz (incl. Moto & EDACS trunked). The system is all controlled by computer & also includes multi-phone line capabilities. It's basically a Dispatch Center on a dolly. This system is run by local agencies and can also do 2m/440.
Also consider the "Response Time" of the Federal Government to any major incident. Even with recent events, the first 24-Hours of any incident is handled by local agencies (& their communications systems). And 72-Hours is the standard response time for a "Team" response to anything. Usually the communications are setup in the72-Hour window.
Therefore, hams will still be needed in whatever capacity they were before, especially as local systems become more high-tech (& more easily taken down by it's own technology). There's always need to show to the public the things ARES/RACES can provide. It will be difficult at times because as newer technology is "Sold" to public safety agencies, these agencies think they're "All Set" But as it was said before they'll be looking for help when their system fails. "BE READY"
Concord, NH Fire Dispatch
A great article, wasn't it ?
'course, I'm a sailor (and a comm operator, ta boot)
so I'm prejudiced ...
I found it fascinating that they are FINALLY applying, what for most of us amateurs is, common technology.
Granted, for a much greater purpose than we usually do, sitting in our shacks tinkering with these things.
(Altho, I don't know about you, but that's how I learn, not having much of an educational bidget these days !
Didn't you find it fascinating ? Error free bit rate, 'live' feed from/to anywhere, mobility, independance ?
When they talk about streaming video on the internet, (whatever kind of 'net it is, copper or plastic or "ether")or to some "bird" up in the sky, I think:==ATV/SSTV==; their data streaming is ==packet/PSK...and geez, didn't we requisition the RTTY stuff we've got, FROM them ?; Oh, and not to forget the ever-present, aforementioned ==2/220/440/1296 HTs==in cars and jacket pockets and wheel chairs and bicycles, EVEN WALKING AROUND !
As for the Humvee...one if by land, two if by sea: a '73 picktruck; a VW microbus; a pop-up caravan, generator purrrrring in the distance...or out on your "yacht" - didn't I see a picture of a vertical mounted on a Hobie cat on a lake, in QST ? : ) or on the world's biggest ground plane, did I mention that rarer bird, the aeronautical mobile ?
As I see it, the Boys in Blue saw this was an excellant opportunity for training, and they took it. And whether that was the reason, or the scenario, I'm glad they are using this opportunity to deploy and test these systems (that we've ALL paid for)
we need them some day...ANY day...
Tho I fear we will...
Well, since I'm up here talking, thank you, I'll say this:
Maybe we should take this to Field Day this year and see what WE CAN DO.
Once again, another excellant opportunity for training presents itself.
Training for them, training FOR US.
We can track our own sattelites ! Sheeesh, we can track the SPACESTATION !!!
One (and more ! of our famliy is crewin' up there !!!
Could we be MORE INVOLVED ?
And for Pete's sake, get some local kids to come out to your comm site; wherever it is ! Give them some adventure; something to get their attention; something to talk about...Give a quick show & tell at a nearby school so they can incoporate some real math, science, language, etc, into the classroom right up til The Day they get to go On The Air !
GET STARTED !
Then get these future hams operatin' ! Arcin' & Sparkin' -(well, hopefully not that ...)
Oh, and there are extra points for it, in case You Contesters are worried about expending resources and missing out on the BIG PRIZE...)
Come out of that shack and share, and show off, and show these public administrators that when the gov't won't GIVE them ANY of this gear, THIS YEAR,or any other soon, they're STILL going to be relying on us, like they have been,
and most importantly,
THAT THEY CAN .
Thank you and Good DX,
Chris #8 )
This is interesting project that they are doing. #But, I do agree that we are still needed when there is a disaster that takes place, or our local/state/federal agency needs us. #Just think this equipment will not be able to go in every square inch of this Earth. What happends if there is a important part that breaks down and they can't get the part for it for a few days. #What will happend then. #They will ask us to help out. #But, if we break a part on a radio we can go to local store (for example: Radio Shack or Circuit City or even Home Depot). #We can be back up and running within a day.
Just think we will not be on the porch and watch the big boys. #We will be out there with the big boys still and not on the porch.
KG4ROL AND 73
Great article, in an intellectual sense. Just a couple comments though:
1. There is a ham radio presence at the 2002 Olympic Games.
2. Local ARES and RACES were involved in planning.
3. Almost anything can be done if you have seven years to plan and implement it, with a great deal of resources, and where non-accomplishment is not an option. No sour grapes here, just an observation on the nature of major scheduled events.
4. I would anticipate increased Federal (multiple agency) and DOD support for future "national security events", ie., all kinds of sporting events and get- togethers of large crowds.
5. As others have already mentioned, there are insufficient high-tech assets pre-positioned around the country for 'unscheduled' events such as natural disasters and the more local assemblies of people. The ham radio community needs to maintain its visibility and its perceived value to local emergency services. I hope these local agencies do not get blinded by the glamour of ultra-high tech and feel that "amatuers" are not needed any longer.