Institute of Swedish Safety & Security


Risk Management & Crisis Preparedness




COMMUNICATING IN CRISIS


"Future disasters, availability of power, the scenario and prevailing conditions - all will be factors in the selection of communications equipment to enable first responders and communities alike to communicate during crisis"

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In the event of electrical failure, nuclear power plant melt-down, extreme solar flares & CME’s, or acts of terrorism - communications systems, ancillaries and back-ups could potentially face serious challenges to maintain the integrity of  communications for first responders immediately, within some hours or extended days. In the event of a potential widespread, and prolonged, electrical outage, communications failure could prevent broadcast, PMR, PAMR, trunked / digital, satellite and cellular speech and data transmissions.


The objective of the project is to research communication options in the event of the main potential crisis scenarios, thus providing options for an enabling platform for communication during, and following, crisis and emergency events.


In 2012-2013 the ISSS has studied some examples of other EU member states primary communication platforms and those that have secondary & redundancy systems. The study shows an ‘individual approach’ to redundancy, with decisions made largely on a local basis for any applicable secondary system and hardware.


Although the potential choice of systems and equipment is wide ranging, propagation, frequency, operational duration on battery or external charging sources (for hand-portable units), antenna considerations and range all compound the ultimate decision to be made. Additionally, compatibility and security of transmissions , whether  speech or SDS / data are significant factors.


Several members of the ISSS project team, having experience in HF to microwave frequency transmission radio design have undertaken dialogue with leading specialists to explore both 'classic' and innovative communications solutions for those authorities recognising the potential failure of trunked and TDMA / W-CDMA systems in some future scenarios.


The ISSS will continue their work in this sector (2014  - 2020) as municipalities, local authorities and Blue Light Services face potential high risks where emergency responses are heavily reliant on Trunked / TDMA & CDMA (cellular based) mobile communications protocols.


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... or back to basics?

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