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Providing communication capabilities during disaster response: Airborne remote communication (ARC) platform

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9 Author(s)
Andrew J. Weinert ; MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, USA ; Paul Breimyer ; Steven M. Devore ; Joshua M. Miller
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Disaster response efforts during natural or man-made disasters are often hampered by compromised communications (e,g. lack or outage of cellular coverage). This can create a dangerous lack of communication or reliance on ad hoc networks, stifling information sharing. Existing systems that target this compromised communication gap are often difficult to rapidly deploy, proprietary and not interoperable, or designed for military use that are expensive and not always interoperable with civilian systems. Additionally, for many first responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS, etc.), current airborne sensor and communication assets are expensive or unavailable. In response to this capability gap, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has sponsored MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Pennsylvania State University to design and fabricate a low power, low weight, reliable communication solution to provide essential information. The airborne remote communication (ARC) system trades bandwidth for mobility and reliability. The ARC system is partly based on CubeSat technology. CubeSats are miniaturized satellites favored by academia and amateur radio satellite builders. The ARC system consists of the CubeSat communication technology, ground-based hardware and software components, and a platform on which the communication technology is deployed. It is data agnostic and can support a variety of data types, including GPS coordinates, SMS texts, or Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) data. This paper describes the ARC system and a demonstration highlighting the capabilities of an essential information system.

Published in:

Homeland Security (HST), 2012 IEEE Conference on Technologies for

Date of Conference:

13-15 Nov. 2012