[amsat-bb] Re: Eagle and emergency traffic

Bruce Robertson broberts at mta.ca
Sun Sep 24 17:47:25 PDT 2006

Quoting Arthur Feller <afeller at ieee.org>:

> At the same time, the Red Cross system is anything but 
> nimble.  Deployment from a limited stock of equipment can take days 
> for shipment (problematic into disaster areas) and hours to get into 
> service.  With some pre-assembly, once on site, a good crew of two 
> well trained technicians can get one of the Red Cross VSAT stations 
> on the air in an hour or two.  Finding the well trained technicians 
> is another problem.
> In essence, the Red Cross' major issues are quantity, transportation, 
> and training.
> Hams usually have big advantages in all three areas.
> If all we can deliver is short lead time 250 kbps service for 18 
> hours a day, they'll be very happy, indeed.
> 73, art.....
> W4ART  Arlington, VA

It seems to me that the best that hams can offer, and have ever offered, in
any emergency communications is redundancy. Put it another way, I'd be
horrified if our nations' emergency services did not have the resources to
avail themselves of the modes and means that we amateurs cobble together.

However, this is a redundancy in overwhelming depth, and that has its uses.
 I imagine the Red Cross (US) cannot send out 1,000 satellite stations; but
Eagle is flying I'd expect that's around the number of digital stations we
might have working in the US. If one of those were to be deployed in an
emergency, its role would be to assist in bringing on-line the Red Cross'
system, and thereafter to provide backup, but I would think this would be a
quite valued role. 

Indeed, the argument seen on this list recently, which claims that any
efforts of ours to provide emergency services would be pointless because of
the deeper pockets of the professionals, cuts against *any* amateur role in
emergency response in any mode and on any band. Given that amateurs seem to
be in fact making a difference in these ventures and being appreicated for
it, I would say there must be some fault with that argument.

I think there's much to allow one's imagination play over regarding Eagle's
user classes. Consider the role of the U/V text messaging in all this. A 2m
rig hooked up to the jumpkit laptop could provide an easily set-up,
out-of-band conversation to help bootstrap the internet connection with
info such as accurate time (needed for pointing), IP addresses, etc. 

73, Bruce

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