SIT Technologies to provide SRAM, a mobile integrated multi-standard radio base station for bounds-free communications

Coignières 14 October 2004Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, floods, etc. and man-made disasters such as wars, ethnic strife, chemical explosions, derailments, building collapse, etc. have increasingly devastating consequences on the human populations involved, due to ever greater urbanization, lack of enforcement of construction codes, and the general decay of public services in megalopolises. In this context, capable and instantly available multi-media communications are a major requirement for the emergency relief and mitigation crews of local, national and international assistance bodies that intervene in the field. To this purpose, SIT Technologies has developed a mobile integrated multi-standard radio base station.

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S.I.T SA has spent the last decade developing and constantly improving SRAM, an advanced but cost-effective Integrated Mobile Platform for electronic communications (PMR/SMR, cellular, satellite, terrestrial broadband, microwave), that is capable of providing instant communications to hundreds of users simultaneously in a wide area with a cell radius up to 15 km, at and around the location of a major disaster scene.

Composed of standard modules such as telescopic towers, shelters for electronics and control equipment, energy and controls, SRAM can be reconfigured with new electronics as the need may arise to upgrade to new communication modes. Widely used by commercial and defence agencies worldwide, SRAMs pay-back on investment is counted in months, not years.

SRAM allows to break the isolation which often follows a major disaster because of the breakdown of existing infrastructure, and because the first responders don't have the communication capacity for third parties, the public or even local officials. The solution gives NGOs, the United Nations and other organisations including armed forces, local and regional relief crews, etc. efficient, permanent and affordable communication links from and to the field, a key tool to do their work.

In principle, the ICET-98 Convention, as far as international regulations are concerned, allows to bring all the means of telecommunications assistance necessary to the affected population and to eliminate customs clearance constraints, as well as some regulations pertaining to the public telecommunication operators.

SRAM is a flexible, rugged, multi-standard platform that can accommodate essentially all kind of electronics and base station equipment. SRAM can operate as a mobile platform, to be brought quickly to where the communications needs are, and then be moved again after the end of relief operations. It can also function as a fixed or semi-fixed platform for more permanent set-ups, that is for longer term needs of refugee camps in tele-education and telemedicine, as well as cellular communications.

As such SRAMs are applicable to most of the requirements of the various agencies of the United Nations (HCR, PNUD, UNOPS, FNUAP, UNESCO, OMS, etc.). In addition, the capacity and performances of communications systems that SRAMs make possible would allow sharing or leasing such means with NGOs, a possible source of cost recovery.

The SRAM key features include:

  • Mobility: Even when shipped from afar, SRAM can be at the site in a matter of days after the onset of disaster
  • Integration: The system is completely self contained and can be operational in less than two hours after arrival on site
  • Minimal operational support: Two to three trained operators can put in place and operate a powerful and versatile communication system without any external assistance
  • Interoperability: SRAM can be interconnected with all other systems and networks based on international standards and protocols such as GSM, IP-networks, POTS
  • Re-usability: At the end of operation, SRAM can be as easily set-down and moved as it was easy to set-up, requiring no external support.

More than 40 SRAM units have been built and sold to first-tier mobile communication operators and institutional operators worldwide. The key configurations, including integrated electronics and base station equipments are portable broadband DSL. This new class of All-IP broadband communications system, pioneered by ArrayComm Inc. of San Jose, California, and made by Kyocera of Japan, provides outstanding wireless broadband performance and Wi-Fi compatibility over large areas, allowing for a host of new applications, including efficient remote medical applications, tele-education, etc. Furthermore, the high capacity of the system allows to give voice over IP and could be used instead of PMR or all other types of communications.

SIT Technologies develops and builds high-performance transportable telescopic towers and integrated transportable wireless telecom stations. The company was founded in 1985. Over 250 telescopic towers have been made and sold since 1994. There are 100 employees, based at Nogent le Rotrou, South West of Paris, France and in subsidiaries in the Philippines, Portugal, etc. As an expert in high-performance transportable telescopic towers, the company integrates and delivers complete base station systems, including the radio system, electronics, backhaul and antennas. The towers can include a full range of ancillory systems for maximum performance and flexibility such as automatic feeder drums, stabilization systems, power generators, etc.


Leslie Versweyveld

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