Avionics News March 2018 - 45

infrastructure along with impacting a vast majority
of terrestrial links that supported the bulk of
communications across the island. The severity of the
damaged communications infrastructure, combined
with up to 90 percent of the population being without
power, severely restricted communications capabilities
during the initial stages of the relief effort.
"Our teams brought Cobham 5075GX terminals
configured as mobile satellite packages to provide
VOIP communications with dedicated phone lines, and
internet service extended to both mobile platforms and
computer platforms," Smith said. "The initial thought
was to focus on communications that had the ability to
offer the broadest levels of support."
Smith explained that Inmarsat's Global Express is
the only high-throughput commercial global Ka-band
network available that enabled the first responders
to benefit from a familiar Broadband Global Area
Network-like style of operation with immediate access
to a host of high data rate applications including voice,
video and data.
"The Cobham GX terminal supported immediate
voice and data needs in an unknown environment,"
he said. "The equipment also was selected because of
its robustness in harsh environments and ease of use.
Individuals with minimal technical skills could quickly
familiarize themselves and become self-reliant in
supporting their communications needs."
"During the hurricane response, we provided
several hundred handheld devices, including Iridium
and Inmarsat satellite phones to numerous government
agencies," said Stevenson, product manager for land
and mobile solutions for Satcom Direct. "The handheld
devices gave initial voice comms, and the portable
BGAN hardware enabled initial data communications
at up to 500 kbps."
The portability of the equipment meant that both
SD and COMSAT were able to transport the Global
Xpress terminals as checked luggage, then set them up
in minutes after arriving on the island.
"Right after arriving, we were asked along with
COMSAT to support the Puerto Rico Emergency
Management Agency in Cieba," Stevenson said. "We
deployed via a government UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter
where we hastily set up an SD-Cobham 5075GX terminal
and a Cisco Rapid Response system. That solution gave
emergency teams voice and data capability in locations
where they had nothing just hours before our arrival."
Continued on following page

John Smith (left), from COMSAT, gets the Cobham 5075GX
pointed and online with Inmarsat GX.

Engineers work to restore voice and data
communications that were knocked out due to
Hurricane Maria over Inmarsat GX.
avionics news

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march

2018

45



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News March 2018

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Avionics News March 2018 - 1
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Avionics News March 2018 - Cover2
Avionics News March 2018 - 1
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Avionics News March 2018 - Cover3
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