[Namaste-dev] Re: Thoughts on ACP Interoperability

JoAnne Maenpaa k9jkm at comcast.net
Sun Jul 13 11:38:34 PDT 2008

Frank mentioned ...
> AMSAT would be flat-out loony to devote any effort whatsoever at 
> realizing anything but a certifiably Open standard.

The main point of the Interoperability White Paper is try to keep our
initial analysis at a potential customer's Application Layer.  It is
hopefully a logical assumption that our customer, a funding/grant source, is
FEMA and/or other DHS entities.  

Federal emergency management's Application Layer for interoperability is the
Incident Command System. This has trickled down into many local government
scenarios also.

At the ICS application layer it says an Incident Commander needs to
communicate with an Operations Sector, Logistics Sector, etc.  This
application layer does not specify that every time the Operations Sector
keys a microphone they transmit X Mbit/sec, etc.

Within AMSAT when Interoperability is mentioned, the very next syllable
often is P25.  The channel protocol, Mbits/sec, Eb/No, and all those other
parameters are below the application layer ... hams are used to working at
layer 3 and down :-) 

So, why all of this hoopla of working at higher layers, namely the Incident
Command System?

1. Unified Command/Incident Command is the interoperability model view of
the Chiefs who also have the budget.  Speak their language.

2. Every participant in ICS is pre-planned into emergency management
scenarios. For AMSAT to become recognized as an interoperability solution we
need to become pre-planned into the ICS scenarios.  You betcha that if we
get DHS to grant $6M to AMSAT that we will be included!  ICS makes some
accommodation, but does not encourage agencies outside of the plan, to show
up "just to lend a hand".  The acceptance of casual support is predicated on
the Incident Commander knowing the resource exists in the first place.  A
bunch of guys showing up with the coolest, high-tech radio gizmos (that's
what they are to an incident commander with 200 other problems) are not a
solution.  Making his ICS plan work is a solution.

AMSAT will know we've made it into the "plan" when our Eagle/ACP is included
in desktop drills.  We will know we are in their book when all ICS
participants will practice finding our phone number for deployment.

3. For the time being, let's assume from our planning point of view that an
Eagle/ACP groundstation includes a licensed amateur radio operator with
every box.  More than likely the TCP/IP backbone is already provided and
AMSAT will need to plug into that instead of the other way around.  We will
provide the satellite hop to inaccessible locations (hmmm, a solution).

The above are just my thoughts on the subject - they are perhaps more
marketing than engineering but we need to sell our capability to excite
potential funding sources.  I'm enjoying reading the various points of view
of just how do we really connect those boxes. And, its best for us to sort
it out before we talk to the folks in suits ;-)

73 de JoAnne K9JKM
k9jkm at amsat.org 

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