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Radio Interoperability Trial

Jan 2006

Trilogy, in conjunction with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s dept and integration partner IPS, recently carried out a radio interoperability trial as part of a large scale Emergency Simulation exercise.

Santa Barbara County is situated some three hours drive North of Los Angeles and as such is positioned across an area where earthquake activity is prevalent. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is part of a complex of buildings which include the Sheriff’s Dept and County Gaol. EOC staff have been seeking ways to improve their efficiency during major emergencies whether from terrorism or natural disaster. In particular, they identified a problem in being able to co-ordinate the various rescue, relief and security agencies as each has its own radio network and dispatchers. In order to direct agencies following a common strategy, it is necessary to be able to address groups of relief workers at a specific location according to common group instructions an in addition to dynamically arrange talk through between staff working on different radio networks. The Mercury system from Trilogy is a powerful tool to provide such facilities to relief agencies and the Santa Barbara trial offered an excellent demonstration of Mercury in action.

A Trilogy Mercury Interface Unit (MIU) is at the heart of the installation which provides all the audio routing, processing and audio conditioning. A set of standard VHF and UHF radios were then installed in a rack adjacent to the MIU with each radio tuned to the individual services: Fire, Police, Paramedics, State troopers etc. The radio PTT and COR signals were also connected to the MIU which provides the appropriate signalisation to and from the radio. For the trial, groups of radio antenna feeds were combined and fed to wideband antennae mounted as high as possible to provide maximum coverage.

Map of the Santa Barbara area, California, USA