Swaledale Mountain Rescue, a mountain and cave rescue team based in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the UK, has successfully trialled a satellite link to provide a reliable and resilient broadband connection for its Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) network, which 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.
Black spots are a major issue for any rescue team, as volunteers rely heavily on mobile technology to communicate with each other in an emergency, which is why Swaledale Mountain Rescue sought expertise from Simoco and Primetech.
“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 base stations 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.