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Proceedings Paper

Emergency communications via airborne communications node
Author(s): Charles W. Niessen
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Paper Abstract

Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes invariably result in disruption of the commercial communications infrastructure and can severely impede the delivery of emergency services by local and federal agencies. In addition, the public's inability to communicate with commercial service providers can substantially slow the recovery process. Since wide-spread destruction of communications plant and distribution systems takes a long time to rebuild, an attractive alternative would be to provide communications connectivity through an airborne platform configured as a communication node. From a high altitude, a single aircraft could provide line of sight connectivity between users that are not within line of sight of each other, and could relay communications through ground or satellite gateways to the national PSTN. This capability could be used to substitute for multiple base stations for fire and police as well as military relief workers using their normal mobile communications gear. The airborne platform could also serve as a wide area base station to replace cellular phone towers that have been destroyed; this would enable civilian access to communications services from existing cellular phones, but could also be used by relief workers carrying low-cost commercial handsets. This paper examines the technical methods for achieving these goals, identifies the equipment needed on the airborne platform, and discusses the performance that could be expected.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2938, Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence Systems for Law Enforcement, (18 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266744
Show Author Affiliations
Charles W. Niessen, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2938:
Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence Systems for Law Enforcement
Edward M. Carapezza; Donald Spector, Editor(s)

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