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Satnews Daily
August 17th, 2015

Rockwell Collins' ARINC UrgentLink Provides One Button Touch, Even Inside Disaster Site

[SatNews] “Natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have, unfortunately, demonstrated the limitations of the current communications infrastructure...”

Rockwell Collins today unveiled ARINC UrgentLink, the first national disaster communications network for public safety that enables first responders, public health, public safety and critical industry officials to communicate with each other when traditional networks are damaged or destroyed. The new solution will be demonstrated for the first time at the Annual Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) 2015 in the Rockwell Collins exhibit booth #2233.

“Natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have, unfortunately, demonstrated the limitations of the current communications infrastructure,” said Jeff Standerski, senior vice president, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins. “ARINC UrgentLink is the first network capable of providing reliable communications coverage, even inside the area most directly impacted by the disaster.”

Available as a subscription-based service, the ARINC UrgentLink network uses Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed radio frequencies specifically authorized for disasters and Rockwell Collins’ proprietary High Frequency (HF) technology. ARINC UrgentLink radios provide one-touch voice and data connectivity to first responders, hospitals and other critical infrastructure users in the disaster zone, as well as others outside the affected area with access to landline, cell, terrestrial or other communications services.

The new ARINC UrgentLink network removes the limitations that affect the reliability of traditional HF radio point-to-point communications, such as time of day, ionospheric fluctuations, sunspot and frequency selection.  In addition, ARINC UrgentLink does not rely on electric power in the affected area, which often makes traditional communication vulnerable during a disaster.

“The need for reliable communications supporting first responders and other public safety and critical infrastructure personnel during a disaster is clear—without it, the public’s safety is at risk,” notes Standerski. “ARINC UrgentLink is the ultimate ‘backup to the backup’ for disaster communications.”

The ARINC UrgentLink network is currently available in selected regions and is being deployed nationwide.

When disaster strikes and communications are compromised, Rockwell Collins' ARINC UrgentLink™ disaster communications network keeps public health, public safety and critical industries' operations and leadership connected to first responders in the field via highly reliable HF cellular technology. When everything else fails, ARINC UrgentLink won't.

ARINC UrgentLink is the first national public safety network of its kind, with more intense areas of coverage in the highest impact areas. FCC-authorized and operating on a worldwide spectrum, ARINC UrgentLink utilizes ground stations throughout the country to create redundant coverage over the ARINC UrgentLink network when the normal communications infrastructure inside the impact zone is rendered inoperable by any type of event – manmade or natural.

At the touch of a button the ARINC UrgentLink radio connects you to other ARINC UrgentLink users within the impact zone, as well as to non-users outside the affected area who have access to landline, cell, terrestrial or other communications services.

The specialized commercial-grade HF radio offers an affordable, easy to deploy solution enhanced for disaster communications. This low power, 125 watt automatic link establishment (ALE)-compliant radio will connect with the ARINC UrgentLink network via Rockwell Collins' proprietary HF Cellular network, to seamlessly patch communications to cell phones, landlines, or other ARINC UrgentLink users.

ARINC UrgentLink network

The ARINC UrgentLink network utilizes Rockwell Collins' proprietary HF Cellular network technology. The state-of-the-art advanced HF-ALE network provides umbrella-like coverage over an extended geographical area. The HF Cellular Network is impervious to traditional point-to-point propagation limitations (time of day, ionospheric fluctuations, sunspot, inospheric perturbations, frequency selection, etc.) and provides exceptional reliability and connectivity performance over traditional ALE networks. 

Similar to how a cellular phone system continually accesses the best available tower, HF Cellular provides the best ALE ground station to the mobile user.