Friday, June 16, 2006

Satellite Radio for Government: Emergency Alerts & Crisis Command and Control

June 16, 2006/ Orbitcast/ XM Satellite Radio has recently pitched the US Government on expanding their EAS (Emergency Alert System) broadcasts to include a crisis command and control initiative

You'll recall during the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, XM enabled a dedicated channel (ch 248 - Red Cross Radio) and distributed satellite radio receivers out to relief workers, so they could receive updates and information while in the field. This is something that cell networks and terrestrial radio simply cannot provide.

Satellite Radio can provide many benefits to government agencies working in an emergency situation. As first reports come in during a crisis, instructions can be transmitted simultaneously to multiple resources - alleviating confusion on the field, and directing assests to where they are most needed.

The XM radios can be restricted to only receive only government selected channels (such as only news, and government channels). Further, since each individual receiver is assigned a unique Radio ID, XM has the ability to send a voice or data message to an individual radio or a select group of radios. Since the signal is encrypted, a secure message is sent to key decision-makers or field agents in the field through a robust network.

Very impressive stuff. As 9/11 and Katrina showed us, communication in the field should be a high priority, and the usage of an existing satellite-based, highly redundant system is pretty much a no-brainer


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