Mainland High School
Suitable for a Disaster: ISTF 08-1835
Component Two
Identify two companies and one product produced by each company that directly relate to the NCT technical application your team has selected.

Skycasters is a satellite IP communications company based in Akron, Ohio, which was started in 2001. They provide their services to commercial, government, non-profit, and educational customers throughout North and Central America. The company promises that
Unlike other satellite communications providers, everything in our infrastructure from our teleports and hubs to the network operating center is business-grade and owned by Skycasters. With Skycasters as your primary or backup satellite Internet connection, you can always count on low-latency data transmission.
After a disaster strikes, a previously "connected area" might suddenly be better classified as a "remote site." Skycasters provides solutions to connectivity shortages. Instead of investing thousands of dollars in laying cable to a location, direct satellite communication is a much more reasonable solution. Skycasters has access to two geosynchronous satellites that provide coverage for the majority of North America.

In emails dated 24 February, 2009, Skycaster President, Mike Kister wrote:

You will need three components.
  1. makeshift cell tower (our Helikite)
  2. a 3G Network device that connects a cell tower on one side and an IP connection on the other side (Tranzeo TR-58V-60-17 and RedConnex AN-50e)
  3. a portable, self contained solution that enables 2-way IP without reliance on the local infrastructure

For our project, he recommended a trailer solution that includes a 4-watt BUC transmitter, their 7000 controller and a 1.2 meter antenna (portable generator). The solution would cost $30,945. In addition, we would require a service plan that fit the needs of the disaster's scope.

Mr. Kister added that the satellite relay (backhaul) is independent of the network/type of data being backhauled. There can be a secure phone network (and it's associated equipment), a public phone system (and it's associated equipment), a Wi-Fi network, a Wi-Max Network, and a LAN, all plugged into a single satellite backhaul... and it will all work just fine (assuming sufficient capacity)

In response to Mr. Kister's second criteria, we chose the telecommunications equipment providers Tranzeo and Redline. Each company sells a pivotal component.

Images courtesy of Tranzeo Images courtesy of Redline Communications

Tranzeo's motto is "Communicate without Boundaries." They offer point to point and point to multi point radios, WiMAX equipment, and mesh network solutions designed for wireless Internet service providers, governments, campuses, military, carriers, enterprise customers, and systems integrators around the globe. Their headquarters are located in Vancouver, Canada. Tranzeo designs and produces all of it's equipment for quick installation. We have decided to use their 5.8GHz 17dBi 60 Vertical Sector Antenna, model number TR-58V-60-17. This antenna offers a lightweight, durable solution for our mobile WiMax tower, and the small beamwidth matches the Redline base station we have decided to use. The small beamwidth also offers use increased efficiency in antenna gain vs. coverage.

Redline Communications is one of the leading suppliers of fixed and wireless broadband access in the world. They have installed their product in over 80 countries throughout 6 different continents. They are the first company to provide a 802.16 compliant product. The product we are using in our application is the AN-50e. This is a high-speed WiMax backhaul solution. It offers point to multi-point communication in 60 degree sectors at a rate of up to 72 mbps that "addresses the most challenging of deployment scenarios." It operates on the unlicensed frequency between 5.470 - 5.725 GHz and 5.725 - 5.850 GHz.

Although the British company ProeTEX does not currently have any products for sale, they have released their first smart textile prototype. Professor Annalisa Bonfiglio, who works in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Cagliara, Italy, is their principal investigator. Their research is in conjunction with the Smart Fabrics and Interactive Textiles (SFIT) cluster. ProeTEX, started in February 2006, will receive funding (8.1 million euros) for 48 months through the Information Society Technologies (IST).

Images courtesy of ProeTEX
ProeTEX is focusing on merging micro- and nanotechnologies within a communications network to improve the safety of emergency workers, firefighters, and civilian victims. They are hoping that their developments will eventually translate into a wide range of other markets: including, extreme sports and healthcare for maintenance and construction workers.

Their first prototype for Project FP6-2004-IST-4-026987 has these primary components: an inner garment, outer garment, electronics, and communication software.

Identify one professional association or trade organization associated with the products your team identified.
       its name,
       description of its mission, and
       number of people/companies involved.

Image courtesy of
IEEE Computer Society
Image courtesy of The Open Group Image courtesy of
IEEE Communications Society
The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Incorporated (IEEE) is one of the premier affiliations working on the development of technological progression. The range of this organization includes the study of telecommunications, consumer electronics, and electronic materials. IEEE spreads throughout more than 160 countries and consists of more than 370,000 members, of which over 80,000 are students.
Since our smart suit's sensors and their functionality are vital to our product's success, we have included an additional organization that focuses entirely on the research and development of smart textiles.

Image courtesy of Materials Research Society
The Materials Research Society "is an organization of materials, researchers from academia, industry, and government that promotes communication for the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research to improve the quality of life." They were founded in 1973 and currently consist of 15,100 members from 71 countries around the world. MRS works towards maintaining a diverse group of cooperative and dedicated members. They provide high quality meetings that work towards communication in the fields of research and technology. Since MRS is a communication bound organization, they work hard to spread information in these fields to the multiple governments as well as the public. They usually sponsor two meetings a year consisting of around 35 symposia each.

At their Spring Meeting in 2006, which was held in San Francisco, CA, one of the symposium covered the topic of "smart nanotextiles." They addressed the possibility of future garments that do more than just keep you warm. They could perform multiple functions including monitoring your body functions, dressing wounds, and protecting from environmental conditions. Speakers at the conference included such eminent researchers as: Ray Baughman, Danilo De Rossi, Ben Mattes, Eckhard Schollmeyer, Mohan Srinivasarao, and Gordon Wallace.

At their Fall 2008 Conference, in Boston, MA, they held sessions on nano- and microscale materials under extreme environments (EE) and polymer-based smart materials (BB).

Propose and describe a new product or new process based on your team's NCT technical application.
Our product is a fully interoperable communication system to support recovery operations in the aftermath of a disaster. The system consists of several components with the primary units being a 'smart suit,' a WiMax network based in a mobile base with a temporary 'tower' and a satellite ISP with attendant hardware and software.

Via the Internet, locate a company that might be able to manufacture your team's proposed product. Send the company an e-mail asking that someone in the company evaluate the product your team proposed. If your team is not able to obtain a response to your inquiry, provide on your website an example of the e-mail request you sent and the names of manufacturers to whom you sent the request.


ProeTEX - Project FP6-2004-IST-4-026987

ProeTEX - Objectives

ProeTEX - First Prototypes

ProeTEX - Inner Garment

ProeTEX - Outer Garment

ProeTEX - Electronics

ProeTEX - Communication Software

About IEEE

The Open Group San Diego 2009

The Open Group Making Stadards Work


Skycasters - Remote Business


Skycasters - Disaster Response

CSEM - objectives

ISTweb - IST Project Fact Sheet

ISTweb - About IST

Tranzeo - Communicate Without Boundaries

Tranzeo - Vertical Sector Antenna

Tranzeo - 5 GHz Sectors

Redline Communication - Company Profile

Redline Communications - RedConnex AN-50e

Skycasters - The Satellites

Skycasters - Disaster Response

Skycasters - Service Plans for Disaster Response Teams

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