Motorola in partnership with NATO today announced the successful trial of a satellite link between Motorola TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio) Dimetra IP (Internet Protocol) infrastructure and a SATCOM (Satellite Communications) ground station. The trial is part of the Motorola initiative to push the boundaries of TETRA so that NATO and the international community can provide quickly deployable, secure, end-to-end communication into new environments.
This is the first time that a packet switched TETRA system has been successfully deployed over a satellite link. This link can be used in remote locations to provide TETRA network coverage, ensuring communications during incidents such as natural disasters, major incidents, peacekeeping efforts, and disaster relief.
The trial linked a military SATCOM ground station situated on top of the Motorola Copenhagen facility, to a Motorola MBTS TETRA base station connected to the NATO ground station in The Hague. The connection was via a space segment provided by (SHAPE) Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe and spanned 72,000 km at a data speed of 64 Kbits per second. The MBTS is only 60cm tall and weighs just 70kg, creating a base station that is transportable and quick to deploy. This allows emergency response services to transport and deploy TETRA base stations easily and quickly in order to save time in mission-critical situations.
Secure calls are supported on encrypted handsets, with transmission channel, control channel and air interface transmissions robustly protected. Dimetra IP end-to-end encryption was also successfully trialled, which means that mission-critical forces such as disaster response teams can deploy the communications system with the knowledge that they are not susceptible to eavesdroppers or deliberate clogging of radio systems at crucial times.
"The role of international security and emergency services has changed over the last few years. There is a growing emphasis on highly flexible and quick-to-deploy forces in the international arena," said Norm Young, Principal Scientist, NATO C3 Agency.
Dimetra MBTS supports four to eight logical channels and offers features such as voice group, private voice, private automatic branch exchange and several versions of data calls. The breadth of features available, combined with the compatibility of commercial satellite link technology, like the INMARSAT (International Marine Satellite) system, means that TETRA operators can consider this technology commercially viable when providing coverage in unusual geographical locations.
Jeppe Jepsen, Director of International Business Relations, Motorola CGISS EMEA, said, "We are delighted to cement our relationship with NATO C3 Agency with the success of this satellite link trial. This is a continuation of our push to expand the application of our TETRA system to all kinds of situations. This trial marks the next phase in commercially viable, easy-to-deploy secure communications systems for special operations such as attendance of incident sites."
Trunked RAdio (TETRA) is the only open digital trunked radio standard which is defined by the European Telecommunications Standardizations Institute (ETSI) to meet the needs of the most demanding professional mobile radio.
Motorola has more than 100 TETRA contracts or operational trials in 40 countries.
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