The FCC this week issued a public notice that a second series of field hearings designed to examine the challenges that face U.S. communications networks during natural disasters and other crises will be conducted next week. The hearing will be conducted next Thursday from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Pacific time at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Participants in the hearing have not been released yet.

BearCom adds Vertex portable

Dallas-based dealer/integrator BearCom announced that it has added Vertex Standard's EVX-531 to its portfolio of portable two-way radios. The EVX-351 operates in analog or digital mode; in the VHF and UHF bands; and on 5 watts of power. It is IP-57 rated for dust and water protection (it can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes), and features an AMBE+2 vocoder for improved audio quality, as well as 32 channels and 2 groups. In addition, the radio leverages the TDMA protocol, which delivers improved spectrum and power efficiency.

DHS issues multiband radio reports

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directory announced the availability of two documents related to its multiband radio project, the MBR Pilot Report and the MBR Procurement Guide.

The pilot report provides lessons learned from a series of pilot tests of multiband radios that were conducted over the last two years. Organizations that participated in the tests included:

  • Arizona Emergency Management
  • Blaine, WA Police Department / Vancouver Transit Police
  • Boise (Idaho) Fire Department
  • Chicago Police Department / Emergency Management
  • Hawaii State Civil Defense
  • Indianapolis Fire Department
  • Miami/Dade County Public Safety
  • Michigan Department of Community Health/EMS and Trauma Systems
  • Murray State University
  • National Capital Region Public Safety Communications Interoperability Group
  • New Orleans Public Safety
  • Phoenix Police Department
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Meanwhile, the procurement guide is designed to assist agencies in making informed purchasing decisions by providing information on operational requirements, regulatory considerations, and technical capabilities of various models.

Thales names business development executive

Thales Communications announced that it has named former U.S. Navy flight officer Aaron Brosnan as its vice president of business development. This is Brosnan's second stint with Thales; in the first, he served as director of business development for Army programs. Most recently he was vice president of business development for SCI technologies, specializing in aviation communications systems and avionics products. While in the Navy, the highly decorated Brosnan was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Avtec lands deal with transportation giant

Avtec announced that CSX Technology will install Scout IP radio consoles in the Class 1 railroad's main-line dispatch centers. The multi-year project will result in the installation of hundreds of consoles that will control more than 1,000 RoIP base stations. CSX's system covers 23 eastern states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces, and spans about 21,000 route miles. Specific terms of the deal were not announced.

Micom radios get new distributor

Fort Worth, Texas-based Elbit Systems announced that Oceanside, Calif.-based Royal Communications International is taking over sales and service for the Micom HF-SSB (high frequency/single side band) radio line. In addition, RCI announced that former Elbit employee Thomas Haggerty has joined the company as chief technical officer, primarily to provide technical support for the Micom line.