News Briefs – Thursday, April 27, 2006
Kenwood radios pass mine-safety evaluation
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced it has approved Kenwood’s TK-290 VHF and TK-390 UHF portable radios for use in underground mines, the first two-way radios approved by the agency for this use in 10 years.
Analysts encourage utilities to deploy Wi-Fi/WiMAX
The United Telecom Council’s recently released research report, “Wi-Fi and WiMAX for Utilities: A Primer Update 2006,” discusses how the utility and energy industries can use these technologies for primary and back-up communication applications. Topics explored include a definition of Wi-Fi and WiMAX technologies, technical drivers, cost and industry case studies. Integration, mobility, lower costs and interoperability are some of the reasons utilities should consider WLAN technologies, according to the report. An executive summary is available on the UTC’s Web site.
HAZMAT tool scans environment for biological warfare agents
U.S. government-owned contractor Sandi National Laboratories developed a software-based tool for HAZMAT teams charged with gathering environmental samples after a biological warfare contamination in high-traffic areas such as airports. BROOM, short for Building Restoration Operations Optimization Model, is a handheld device used to collect data on a contaminated facility in order to determine whether the area is again safe for civilian use. The gathered data is transferred wirelessly to an offsite PC, with results displayed on the handheld device as well as the PC. The Department of Homeland Security sponsored the project, according to the contractor.
Mobile command center tracks first responders
Digital Data Technologies introduced the Mobile Command Center, which allows dispatchers to view mobile fleet data via a PC. For example, the product lets public-safety dispatchers monitor vehicle speed, track units onsite at an incident and review historical activity in real-time, according to Digital Data. The command center is an extension of its AccuGlobe mapped software solution for automatically locating wireline and wireless 911 calls.
Coupled technologies claim to improve system capacity, reduce interference
Proxim Wireless announced a new family of dual-radio, multi-frequency, rugged radios based on its current line of outdoor Wi-Fi mesh products. The ORiNOCO AP-4000MR-LR provides Wi-Fi end-user access, while the AP-4900MR-LR provides mesh backhaul using a pre-802.11s protocol. The company claims that by coupling the technologies, system capacity is doubled and interference is reduced.