RESTON, Va. – In early Fall C4i was called upon to assist a high-altitude search-and-rescue training facility located in the mountains of eastern California. C4i, with support from the National Park Service, developed an integrated solution that was both creative and affordable. The solution involved several components—C4i’s SwitchplusIP™ dispatch console system housed in the main control facility, which was then connected via Ubiquiti high-speed wireless IP links to C4i’s Radio Interface Units (RIUs) on the peak. The RIU allowed transmission and reception of audio from the various land mobile radios (LMRs) on the IP network. Lack of cabling was solved by the use of Solar Panels and wind generators in order to maintain a charge on the battery power supplies.
Once there, a proof-of-concept trial system was installed and evaluated over a one-week period. The trial was deemed an unmitigated success and the new equipment exceeded all expectations. Now, from the comfort of the control facility, operators could use the SwitchplusIP console to monitor multiple radio channels, patch or cross-band VHF and UHF channels, and transmit on one or multiple channels. C4i’s solution allowed the use of one radio to communicate with all channels using the integrated cross-banding feature of the SwitchplusIP system. The cross-banding capability also enabled direct communications between units within the training area regardless of terrain. Additionally, reliable communication with aircraft was achieved at over three times the previous range. Aircraft could now be accessed from a portable radio allowing air controllers to be mobile rather than tied to a fixed location.