If you have been in business for more than ten years, chances are good you have upgraded your radio equipment over the years. That probably means their access to various frequency bands and IP protocols has changed as well. Layer on business phones using T1, E1, Ethernet and other digital communication protocols and you have yourself what we call “Communications Soup”. If you are in the business of responding quickly to emergencies and catastrophic events, chances are good you are coordinating with other “First Responders”. Most of these professionals already have radio systems of their own and interoperability with other communication devices quickly becomes very important. Audio Bridging with radios, satellite phones and Voice Over Internet Protocol is the way to keep everyone connected.
Audio Bridging Systems
Emergencies tend to call for several mediums of communication being used by police, EMS, Fire, Utility workers, maintenance teams for the entity and 3rd party security professionals. There are often protocols in place that prevent unnecessary radio traffic when there is an emergency. Officers not responding to the scene may still need to report on their own status or patrol observations — maybe even a second emergency. All of this communication traffic can prove difficult without audio bridging technology at the emergency site to cross connect between different communication protocols and enable personnel with different radio equipment to speak with one another without disruption.
How an Audio Bridge Works
An Audio Bridge uses signal processing that allows radios using different frequencies to operate together over a single radio network, often at the repeater hardware. Radios depend on repeaters to relay signals over long distances. The audio bridges connect to the repeaters, are pre-programed to identify the frequencies and protocols that are being used, switch the audio according to a common pathway and push the audio outputs to the proper devices.
Cross Banding, ReBanding & Narrow Banding
The most common application of an Audio Bridge is to cross-band radios individually using VHF and UHF wavelengths to function on a common wavelength. We call this Rebanding. You can also connect new radios using RoIP to the audio bridge. Automatic steering reroutes communications if the frequencies being used should fail, which happens sometimes with congestion.
Benefits of Sat Phones During Crises
Forbes believes that Sat phones play an indispensable role in any emergency plan. Cellular and VoIP technology is vulnerable to disruption, power outages and therefore not reliable during emergency situations. Sat phones operate on their own lithium power source and connect to a constellation of 66 Iridium communications satellites that are in low earth orbit, or they connect to a constellation of 13 Inmarsat geosynchronous satellites. An Audio Bridge and be programmed to interconnect with the satellite phones found in your mix.
Emergency Audio Bridge Kits Are
- Easy To Put Together
One of the main reasons people shy away from audio bridging technology is the belief that it will be too complex to set up when they need it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can set up and deploy these systems quickly on an as-needed basis. The hardware is often stored in a hard carrying case and stored with an “Emergency Go Kit”. We do all the pre-programming using what you already know about your team’s radio and Sat phone requirements.
- Have Exceptional Mobility
Clunky machinery is another turnoff that steers people away from using radio bridging systems. Many professionals are surprised to learn that they can get a full setup in a small compact carrying case about the size of a large briefcase. Storage is simple and the light weight hardware makes a difference for professionals who may need to bring their gear with them on foot while responding to an emergency.
- Improves Your Flexibility
Audio bridging systems allow you to keep using your radios while adding in more equipment. These may include VoIP devices, sat phones or even older analog types of radios that you have access. Instead of one communication channel, you now have up to a dozen.
Radio Bridging Systems by Orion Systems
Clients tap us for a customized solution to interconnect their hardware with the 3rd parties they will most likely encounter when disaster or even small emergencies hit their world. Email us here with what your are looking to accomplish with your communication bridging system.