Years after 9/11, first responders still remember the coordination problems they experienced due to a lack of interoperable radio communications. Even today, interoperability between different first responder agencies is not a given – which is why the Technisonic cross-band radio solution being offered by Texas’ Dallas Avionics is worthy of note.
Based upon the Technisonic TDFM 9100 Series P25 FM Communications transceiver integrated with the Iridium satellite telephone, this RF package allows agencies to work together across radio and satellite bands.
“The Technisonic TDFM 9100 acts as what is known as a ‘cross-band repeater’,” said Scott Hurst, Dallas Avionics’ sales and technical support manager. “Say you have someone who is on 800 MHz, and you’ve got someone else in the air who is on VHF: We’re able to do a patch between those guys,” he said. “So if law enforcement is doing a vehicle chase across multiple municipalities, they can now link everyone together. And should we ever have another 9/11-type disaster, the cross-band repeater function could link first responders on different radio system together if a repeater tower went down.”
“Another big thing that’s come out, since Latitude Technologies has teamed with Technisonic, is the ability for helicopter operators to have Push-to-Talk (PTT) connections to other aircraft and ground stations in their talk group via radio and Iridium satellite; no matter when they are in the world,” Hurst added. The talk groups can be configured and altered as needed by the operators’ Web Based Dispatch centers. “No one has to dial up phone numbers anymore: The talk groups can be set up to do this automatically via PTT,” he said. “Helicopter operators now have access to true interoperable communications; no matter what the band, platform, and locations of the users.”
Technisonic Enables Interoperability
As noted above in the Dallas Avionics’ section, Technisonics has worked Latitude Technologies to create a P25 / Satellite integration capable of supporting cross-band repeat. One that can interconnect a range of radio bands (VHF, UHF, 700 and 800 MHz) with satellite communications via the Iridium satellite network.
For the record, “Project 25 or P25 is a common set of digital protocols that when implemented, would support interoperability across radio manufacturers,” said the Technisonic website (www.til.ca).
“Today’s mission based aircraft operate all across the P25 spectrum, whether you are talking across the county or across the state, P25 capability is required.”
Technisonic makes a range of P25 airborne FM transceivers, grouped together in its TDFM-9000/9100/9200/9300 series product line.
“Our specialty lies in designing radios that meet the unique communications needs of our clients,” said Jim Huddock, Technisonic’s business development manager. “An EMS helicopter may have a requirement for a UHF radio, to speak on the hospital frequency, where a federal mission-based helicopter is more focused on VHF.” In either case, Technisonic interviews the customers to find out what their missions requirements are and how their radios are used aloft, and then configures transceivers to meet their needs.
In addition to adding satellite calling and PTT functionality to their TDFM line of radios (again in partnership with Latitude Technologies), Technisonic has found a way to integrate users’ legacy non-P25 radios into their TDFM P25 radios using Multi Communications Ports (MCPs). “The MCP allows us to connect an external transceiver directly into our radio,” said Huddock. “This provides a simple, easy-to-use connection, avoiding the need to rewire audio panels.”
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