Solutions for continuous and reliable communication in large scale disasters

RESCUE_1 Photo: Roni Geva and Guy Sela

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“A multi casualty disaster occurred in KiryatArie, Petah Tikva” – this is the message of the first reporter at the scene of the disaster into his personal radio set.

Not to worry, it’s just an exercise! On the 24th of June, for the first time in Israel the capabilities of RESCUE Consortium were demonstrated, exhibiting the technologies of broadband wireless communication systems and satellite communications, intended for deployment and quick setup of communication infrastructures during a disaster with many casualties.


The unique technological solution has been developed over the past five years, as part of the Magnet program of the Chief Scientists Office, and was fully demonstrated for the first time on the 24th of June.

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The participants of the RESCUE Consortium include eight of the leading Israeli communication companies and ten research groups from six top academic institutions. The solution is based on a combination of cellular and broadband land communication. This provides a variety of communication means for the rescue forces, including police, fire brigades, medical organizations, military forces and others, enabling all the forces to have continuous capability to transmit and receive voice, data and video information while on the move, increasing the effectiveness of rescue operations.

RESCUE_1 Photo: Roni Geva and Guy Sela
RESCUE_1 Photo: Roni Geva and Guy Sela
RESCUE_2_Photo: Roni Gebva and Guy Sela
RESCUE_2_Photo: Roni Gebva and Guy Sela

Participants in the project include Orbit, Elbit Systems, Alvarion, SOX, Gilat Satellite Networks (who hosted the event), Wavion, RAS (Raysat Antenna Systems) and Runcom. The research teams are from the Universities of Ariel, Bar Ilan, Ben Gurion and Tel Aviv, The Technion – Israel Technical Institute, and the Tel-Aviv Yaffo Academic College.

Members of the consortium, through their cooperation, reached achievements in technological solutions as the result of cooperation in the research, development and implementation providing response to a growing worldwide demand for communication solutions for handling of disaster events, like natural disasters and large scale terror attacks, floods, fires, hurricanes and tsunamis. 

Chairman of the Consortium, Avi Gal, said that in disaster events infrastructures can collapse, therefore it’s required to provide the rescue forces with broadband communications enabling immediate contact in case of emergency. All the forces are able to communicate with each other, using all available means, from satellites to smartphones. The consortium uses technologies like WIFI, WIMAX, LTE, SATCOM and others. The variety of communication enables contact with fire fighters deep below ground, allowing for information to pass autonomously from one technology to another without disconnection.

The technology used in the demonstration is based on IP technology providing a common unified infrastructure for transmitting all types of communication required for emergency situations – voice, video and data, using the various communication networks and enabling a variety of advanced services like multi-participant video conferences (of users from various emergency and rescue organizations) for improved coordination of the rescue activity.


Chairman of the Electronics Industries Organization, Elisha Yanai, said in the demonstration event, that the next most important subject in the world of communications is VIDEO IN MOTION – supplying video picture while on the move, this technology is expressed in the field of FIRST RESPONDERS, who are the first to arrive at the site of disaster to protect the population and help it cope with the events.

The Chief Scientist, Avi Hasson, said that what characterizes a disaster site is the fall of communication and electricity, a large amount of users, lack of authentication between various networks –when everyone needs tocommunicate, andwants video pictures from the disaster site, in order to build situation assessment of the event. To this end the Rescue Consortium deals with the development of Fourth Generation communication systems for the rescue forces, using satellites to transmit the video picture for situation assessment.

Ilan Peled, Manager of the Magnet program in the Chief Scientists Office, summed up by saying that the Consortium reached extraordinary achievements using technologies combining communication services with various data rates and intensities for one common purpose – saving and rescuing people in emergency times.”

The technology demonstrations in the Gilat facilities were carried out with the use of the Amos satellite, and other vehicles carrying communications equipment and antennas of Gilat and Elbit. In each vehicle the teams activated several communication channels in order to demonstrate the availability of continuous communication provided by theConsortium provides for the emergency and rescue teams.

In the pictures: RESCUE Consortium teams and a variety of antennas of the communication equipment demonstration that took place at the facilities of the Gilat Satellite Networks.


By: iHLS NewsDesk