Communications

Nuclear response teams get a lighter load

Shutterstock image (by Maksim Kabakou): Science data concept, nuclear icon.

The National Nuclear Security Administration's emergency response teams no longer have to lug 500 pounds of satellite communications gear when they respond to potential radiological incidents.

Last year, NNSA's Office of Emergency Operations revamped the communications support for the agency's response teams and replaced the 500-pound satellite-only systems with 60-pound systems that provide real-time voice, data and video via satellite, Internet and cellular capabilities, according to a Jan. 22 post on the agency's blog.

The new systems are not only 88 percent lighter, they're also easier on NNSA's budget -- $145,000 compared to the previous systems' cost of about $400,000.

The mobile systems work with NNSA's Emergency Communications Network, which transmits classified and unclassified voice, video and data communications between NNSA headquarters and approximately 55 remote sites and mobile units, according to the agency.

The mobile systems also provide satellite backup capability for the main ECN and terrestrial circuits.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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