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Mountain and cave rescue team trials Ka Band satellite link

05 January, 2015

Link will provide broadband connection in Swaledale and Wensleydale areas of Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Swaledale Mountain Rescue has successfully trialled a satellite link to provide a reliable and resilient broadband connection for its Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) network that will cover Swaledale and Wensleydale.

The test, undertaken by Swaledale Mountain Rescue and emergency services communications partner Primetech, is part of the charitable organisation’s plans to build a new multi-site (DMR) network, which is supported by Simoco’s DMR systems. Simoco has been working with Swaledale Mountain Rescue for over a decade and has recently provided the organisation with a number of base stations and terminals.

Two systems in the network were linked together via a Ka Band satellite system to address a broadband black spot in one of the sites, which previously had no or little coverage support.

“As a non-profit organisation, we depend on a flexible low-cost communications system,” said Paul Denning at Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team. “In order to keep costs low, we considered a satellite link to provide the broadband connection, but we needed to test the satellite to confirm its suitability for our DMR network. This test was very successful – the radio traffic passed between Simoco’s DMR basestations via the satellite link with an acceptable delay caused by the latency on the satellite link.”

The next phase of testing will see Swaledale Mountain Rescue permanently install two of the base stations into its sites, and connect the system to a SIP phone system to enable the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) connection.  With very limited mobile phone coverage in the Yorkshire Dales, connection to a public telephone network will be invaluable operationally for the team.

Swaledale Mountain Rescue, which formed in 1968, is a volunteer service that provides mountain and cave rescue services within the Swaledale and Wensleydale areas of North Yorkshire. The team is made up of around 40 highly trained volunteers who are available to be called out (at short notice) for a variety of land based search and rescue operations, any time day or night.

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