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Emergency Response
Rapid-deployment wireless for rapid-response situations

Imagine there has been a natural disaster in your area. There is little contact with the outside world, and emergency response teams are doing their best to keep up with the damage. But with the lack of communication, will they be able to receive critical information? Will they have the communication tools required to meet the challenges they will face?

When disaster strikes, odds are there is significant, if not complete loss in telecommunications services, requiring emergency personnel to provide their own communication network. Consequently there is a need for a comprehensive emergency networking/communication solution that allows authorities to prepare for, manage, and overcome disastrous events.

Challenges

It’s easy to setup a tent, some tables and chairs, but what about the network? Are you going to be pulling cables and plugging in switches? How many networking devices will be required?  What types of network services are required? These are the challenges that must be planned for and they fall into 3 areas:

Deployment

In an emergency first responders deploy in minutes, emergency communication systems cannot take hours to deploy. Immediate communication services are required to assist those impacted, those on scene and those in support functions that require real-time information so the right resources, can be deployed to the right locations within tight time constraints.  In situations when minutes can mean the difference between life and death, taking hours to deploy a communications lifeline is not an option.

Network Reliability

Recovering from a disaster can last anywhere from hours to months. Emergency communications systems must be extremely reliable, able to provide services as long as they are required. The network must be resilient, with an assurance of availability and consistency.

There is no guarantee that the response team commanders will have basic phone services in these types of situations. And even if they do, the available bandwidth will be significantly reduced due to the necessary sharing of undamaged resources. This means having the ability to provide reliable voice and data communications to their team through a secure communication channel is necessary. Additional capabilities such as video for interactive communication or video streaming to assist with medical services could be life saving.

Solution

Requirements of an emergency response communications system are portability via common transportation methods, fast and simple deployment, the ability to support all required applications securely and providing sufficient coverage to meet the vast majorities of deployment scenarios.

The Xirrus RDK solution is a unique and cost effective mobile solution for emergency response, allowing quick and easy setup at a deployed site. Designed to meet the requirements of corporations, the public safety agencies and the military, the RDK is lightweight, portable and robust, providing a complete suite of communication capabilities for up to 100s of users per device. With a fully integrated design delivering a coverage range well beyond typical wireless access points, the Wi-Fi Array is the only solution of its kind for setting up a pervasive wireless network with such simplicity.

Download the Tacticomm Emergency Response Case Study (PDF).