A marine oil operating company located on an offshore island in the gulf has chosen JPS’ ACU-1000 as the main communications component of their new incident management center. Using the ACU-1000, the oil company can now communicate directly with naval vessels and aircrafts, regional coordinating centers, civil defense, police, fire and medical agencies.
The marine oil operating company recognized their need for more effective communications and began to look into ways to remedy their problem. They decided to create an incident management center in order to provide high quality information to their senior officials so they can monitor and interact with responders at the scene of an incident in real-time. The oil operating company’s primary objectives were to provide the technical means to establish effective supervision and control the communications between headquarters and the incident scene.
Personnel at the oil operating company’s incident management center needed to coordinate the search and rescue efforts and support the maritime vessels and aircrafts operating within or over the territorial waters of the country. They also needed to maintain a high state of readiness to respond to any emergency occurring in its area and provide assistance to other cooperating agencies as necessary. Since communications needed to be quickly established among multiple agencies and divisions, a modern communications system capable of providing voice and data communications through radio links, public switched telephone network connections and direct links to key agencies was required.
The oil operating company chose the ACU-1000 as their solution because it can be configured to meet almost any interface application involving telephones and radios and is suitable for HF, LMR, digital radio networks, TETRA and satellite communications systems. It was also ideal because it offers essentially unlimited applications and expandability and is easy to setup. Adding a new communications format to the system can be as simple as plugging in the appropriate interface module and connecting the new equipment to the ACU-1000 backplane.
The ACU-1000 is used to help the company mitigate the effects of hazards, prepare for measures to be taken that will preserve life and minimize damage, enhance response during emergencies, secure the affected area, initiate immediate apprehensions, provide necessary assistance and establish a recovery system in order to return to normal state of affairs.
The company uses an HF/SSB radio for long range communications that is connected to naval vessels, aircrafts and other regional coordinating centers. A VHF/AM ground-to-air radio is used for communications between the incident management center and aircrafts, a VHF/FM is used for point-to-point communications between the incident management center and civil defense, police, fire brigade and emergency medical agencies, a UHF/FM for local communications inside the center and a VHF marine band radio is used to monitor the emergency calling channel.
All of the connections operate using RoIP technology over the customer’s provided IP network. System control is accomplished by means of JPS’ Wide Area Interoperability System (WAIS) software. Each operator has the software loaded on its computer and running. Since all of the radio channels and telephone circuits are selectable from the officer’s console, coordination is further simplified.
Under normal conditions, each individual operator of the system connects his or her headset to a specific radio using the WAIS software. Operators can then monitor all incoming traffic on that radio and respond as needed. The WAIS software automatically handles the setup and knockdown of every connection. Each operator is able to see all of the other connections in real time, including their own. The computers are programmed with passwords so unless permission is granted, each operator can only control their computer. In addition, a communication unit leader was designated who has the authority to make or break all connections.
Now with the system in place, should an emergency occur, the incident command center can be notified via a call from the coastal radio stations, airport control tower, civil defense, public security or naval and military emergency telephones or by commercial radio or a TV broadcast. The incoming call will then be routed to the incident management center’s duty officer and will appear as an incoming call on his console. The officer will then take the information and follow the designated plan for the type of emergency reported and begin deployment of resources and personnel.
Should multiple emergency calls be received, they can be routed to another officer or to a queue. Also, an immediate playback recorder allows for a quick review of the call to reduce the possibility of error.
The time for this process to take place has been significantly cut since the ACU-1000 allows the officer to quickly connect with the coordinating agencies. Using the ACU-1000, the officer may now deploy resources via telephone, radio, fax or data links. Once deployed, personnel may communicate directly with the officer via any of the available radio channels.
In all, the installed communications system is used to control seven existing radios in the oil company’s buildings including three spare radios from the new incident management center. Ten operators can now monitor one or more remote radios each and have the capability to connect the radios to a telephone landline or to a GSM telephone if required.
ATLAS Telecommunications assisted with the installation, commissioning and maintenance of this system in the gulf. For more information on ATLAS Telecommunications, please visit http://www.atlastelecom.ae.