...helicopter satellite communication system (HSA40) to Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) through the Tokyo branch of the company's distributor, Seiryo Electric Company. The HSA40 system will begin operating in early April after the airborne station is installed in a helicopter of the Kyoto City Fire Department and base stations are installed in facilities both at the Kyoto City Fire Department in Kyoto and FDMA in Tokyo.
The system is expected to be used to gather information on disaster areas to support the rapid deployment of emergency-response measures. Currently, information is gathered with the Heli-TV system, which transmits TV signals directly from a helicopter to a relay station on the ground. The conventional system can be prone to transmission disruptions due to mountains or buildings, and in many cases requires an operating relay station in the proximity of the disaster area.