Primetech has launched its innovative new MultiNet Comms range of portable, self-supporting incident ground communications solutions. This new range answers a real need among emergency services for more flexible, high capacity incident ground communications, helping them improve their response to major public safety threats.
Primetech’s new range will also complement and build on a number of other unique Primetech technologies and flexible, agile platforms, such as its Resilient Communications Trailer, that the company has developed for improving emergency communications. These are all highly relevant to all UK emergency services.
UK mobile satellite broadband and communications developer and integrator Primetech has, over the past decade, built a growing reputation for developing and implementing advanced communications solutions. It supplies Ka-band mobile satellite broadband and other integrated communications systems, such as High Definition video and incident ground WiFi, to emergency services on a wide variety of platforms, from large and small Incident Command Units to more mobile Resilient Communications Trailers and fast, flexible vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Trojan and Land Rovers.
Now, with the launch of its new MultiNet Comms family of modular, portable integrated incident ground communications solutions housed in a series of Nanuk ruggedised cases, delivering video, voice and internet access over 2.4 and 5.8 GHz WiFi via a COFDM mesh network and 3G/4G, plus private cellular networks, the company has made another major leap forward, demonstrating once again its commitment to supplying UK emergency services with some of the world’s most advanced operational communications systems. Such systems support enhanced situational awareness and improved multi-agency interoperability.
In the past, poor communications and organisational problems have often been the causes of ineffective multi-agency emergency management response. The consequences of such mistakes, involving many people’s lives, incomes and property, can often be catastrophic and linger on for decades.
Two key issues highlighted throughout the recent Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme - JESIP - were Operational Communications and Shared Situational Awareness, areas where in the past there have been problems.
To support improved single and multi-agency communications interoperability Primetech has developed its new MultiNet Comms family of portable, battery-powered communications devices, housed in Nanuk ruggedised cases.
Covering mobile satellite broadband communications, UAV live imagery feeds, body-worn, tripod and other ground based imagery, life signs monitoring devices, plus COFDM-supported wide area WiFi and 3G/4G communications, the MultiNet Comms units are powered by light, powerful batteries and housed in rugged waterproof ‘boxes’. The range has been developed in response to requests from emergency services for communications solutions that are not dependent on being housed in Incident Command Units, of whatever size.
During the Somerset flooding in 2014, for example, there were areas in which emergency services needed to operate - village ‘islands’ cut off by flooding, for example - that could not be reached by ICU vehicles. Primetech had already created a first prototype of a portable communications unit for Gloucester Fire and Rescue Service that worked very well. The new Primetech MultiNet Comms range builds on this achievement.
There are a number of different units within the MultiNet Comms family, but all units have certain features in common; they are all highly portable and self-supporting, featuring lithium polymer batteries that are light, powerful, and capable of easy recharging; and they are all capable of linking together to form high bandwidth networks across incident grounds. Delivering different types of capability depending on incident requirements, they are all designed to be resilient and easy to use.
The units within the Primetech MultiNet family include:
Incident Ground Extender Nodes - these feature 2.4 and 5.8 GHz WiFi communications linked by a COFDM mesh network and can be located throughout an incident ground. They are capable of receiving and transmitting imagery, data, internet access and voice communications from the wide range of devices that are now deployed across an incident ground, including smart phones and ruggedised laptops featuring command and control systems.
Command Master/Primary Nodes - these are used for receiving feeds from the various Incident Ground Extender Nodes located around an incident ground. The onboard, powerful multi network router automatically connects to any available data network. Military spec encryption allows incident ground data to be securely transferred to the HQ. Within the node is a ruggedised computer acting as the site server. Additional briefing screens can be added depending on requirements.
Email, photographs and audio, live video feeds from body-worn, tripod, UAV and other cameras are transmitted back to the Command Master/Primary Nodes, facilitating multi-agency command HQs at incident ground level. This video, voice and incident information can then be passed on through the multi-agency communications hierarchies. The nodes can also be used to receive data from life-signs monitoring equipment worn by emergency personnel, such as HART ambulance staff, operating in hazardous environments.
Command teams can add as many Incident Ground Extender Nodes as they need to cover incident ground areas. Battery charge lasts for about 24 hours, and can be supplemented with additional, swappable charged battery packs.
Private Cellular Network nodes - these are used for creating resilient mobile communications networks around incident grounds.
Satellite unit - This is a waterproof Nanuk ruggedised case-housed unit linked to a C-Com Fly-75 satellite dish. It is battery powered and fully portable, linking the Command Master/Primary Node by high speed Ka mobile satellite broadband on to other command levels in the network.
The Primetech MultiNet Comms range will continue to evolve as new technologies are introduced and to support improved public safety and the protection of emergency service personnel, especially those who work in hazardous environments.