The dramatic fire disaster affecting Notre-Dame de Paris has prompted Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) (Paris:ETL) to support the Paris Fire Brigade (BSPP) services. In the form of a donation, Eutelsat has equipped a Communication Support Vehicle (CSV) with the latest in connectivity infrastructure using next generation satellite networks.
In emergency situations, such as the Notre-Dame de Paris fire or the November 2015 terrorist attacks, public networks and ground-based communications infrastructure are rapidly congested, unavailable and in some cases inadequate. Yet, when it comes to managing emergency relief, communication between front-line responders can play a decisive role. In this respect, the use of a CAV connected via a satellite broadband link is an effective solution, as it provides satellite connectivity between the field and the command units for the transmission of radio, voice and Internet communications. The satellite-based CSV operates independently of any terrestrial infrastructure and public networks that can be damaged in a crisis situation (congestion, breakdown, voluntary outage, etc.). It is therefore the optimum solution to the congestion of other public networks. Satellite connectivity provides a reliable and resilient connection between the command centre, front-line responders, the local population and possibly the media.
The Paris fire brigade can now deploy a 4G tactical bubble connected to other remote communication infrastructure via a satellite broadband link operated by Eutelsat. The resulting private 4G network built around the Communication Support Vehicle can be used by 18 mobile terminals equipped with a highly secure application enabling group voice communications, video-conferencing, data exchange and user geolocation. Also, a Wi-Fi bubble can be set up on board the CSV to enable access to the Internet and to mission critical operational data. The CSV is equipped with several satellite telephone lines to communicate with the command centre or provide other public services or agencies with voice communications if required. As such, the CSV serves as an autonomous communication hotspot for organizing press briefings and real-time information, to name a few.
Fitted with state-of-the-art technology, the CSV now uses the Ka-band on EUTELSAT KONNECT, a powerful, next-generation HTS (High Throughput Satellite) satellite. The increased throughput enables the CAV to host very high-capacity applications, support more simultaneous calls, file transfers, streaming and teleconferencing, and provide connectivity to the private 4G tactical bubble. With the upcoming entry into service of the EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS satellite, the communication capabilities of the CSV will be significantly enhanced thanks to high-speed broadband.
Cyril Dujardin, Eutelsat General Manager of the Connectivity Business Unit, commented: “Eutelsat is delighted to play its part in enhancing and boosting the BSPP’s mission critical communication capabilities by providing a satellite-based CSV that is essential for ensuring resilient communication channels and connectivity in emergency situations. We are proud to be able to make this technology available to the people of Paris and its inner suburbs. To achieve this, Eutelsat has selected one of its long-standing partners, Telespazio France, for the integration and implementation of the crisis connectivity bubble based on Eutelsat’s Ka-band Konnect platform.”
Major General Joseph Dupré la Tour, Commander of the Paris Fire Brigade added: “Telecommunications are crucial to our operations which are increasingly demanding in an environment involving various constraints. Our command capacity, which lies at the heart of our operational efficiency, requires robust systems to ensure that orders are transmitted and information is passed on, regardless of the circumstances of the operation. The cooperation between Eutelsat and the BSPP is rooted in the long-standing, solid friendship between our respective former managers. This has been a fruitful relationship that is now materializing with the delivery of the CSV, bringing the BSPP’s operational capabilities to new heights.”