Mobile device overcomes comms ‘black hole’

Cassidian has developed a secure mobile system which overcomes problems for emergency services operating in areas with communications ‘black holes’.

Apr 12, 2012
By Paul Jacques

Cassidian has developed a secure mobile system which overcomes problems for emergency services operating in areas with communications ‘black holes’.

Limited coverage in some areas has traditionally posed communications difficulties for police, fire and ambulance services, but the Newport-based communications and security specialist has developed a compact mobile device that optimises and maintains a communications network in problem geographical areas or severe weather conditions.

The Mobile Internet Protocol Node, being tested in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, makes it easier for emergency response services to communicate using voice, data and video. It can be carried in ground vehicles or helicopters, for example, and does not need a skilled operator.

Cassidian says the technology takes a holistic view of all wireless network routes from sender to destination and then decides on an optimum route for the information.

•Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, opened a newly-refurbished state-of-the-art incident room at the Environment Agency’s offices in Worthing last week.

The tactical command centre provides a coordinated response to drought, flooding and pollution incidents in Sussex, allowing operational staff to link better together with emergency responders and other incident centres.

The centre is equipped with a new innovative communications network, CCTV and new audio and visual technologies. These facilities allow staff to respond to incidents faster, manage them more strategically and stay better informed with other incident rooms in the country.

James Humphrys, Environment Agency area manager, said: “We work closely with our partners such as the emergency services, local authorities and water companies during incidents. It is therefore essential that we share information between our organisations and work together so that communities and the local environment are protected.”

A new film is encouraging victims who have been targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity to report the incident to the police.

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