Emergency Alerting Solutions
On a busy military air base, a commercial airport, or local municipal airport operating multiple runways with numerous aircraft in the air, approaching, landing or taking off all at once, a Crash Alerting System is critical for flight operations. Such a system notifies operations and emergency response personnel of imminent aircraft emergency situations. The Crash Alerting System allows a Control Tower to initiate an Emergency Alert for First Responders such as Fire Stations, Hospitals, Flight Operations, etc.
When a large US military base operating multiple runways with multiple control towers needed a Crash Alerting System for the safety of flight crews and members of the military, they turned to GDS (Global Data Specialists) to assist them with the design and implementation of this system.
On such applications, GDS uses a robust controller such as the Motorola ACE3600 Remote Terminal Unit (RTU). GDS writes custom applications for the RTU to monitor and control exactly the variables that the customer wants to. GDS designs operator interface panels at the Control Towers and First Responder locations. These systems typically communicate via licensed frequency radio networks that utilize Motorola MotoTRBO or ASTRO IV&D digital trunked radio system.
Crash Alerting Systems have provided Control Towers with an easy-to-use automated method of providing First Responder emergency notifications indicating that an aircraft is in distress and that a crash may be imminent. The Tower is also able to receive automated return visual confirmations that key personnel have acknowledged the alert and are responding.
Such system have proven themselves to be reliable for airbases as users depend upon the reliability and durability of the overall Crash Alerting System to keep their flight operations safe on 24/7/365 basis.
Various Government, Military or Municipal facilities can have numerous fire or alarm panels spread across multiple buildings throughout a base or city. Such alarm panels typically monitor various sensors within each building such as window and door alarm sensors, fire and smoke detection sensors etc. GDS has worked on several alarm monitoring projects over the years. In one such project, a military base wanted to have the ability to monitor the alarm panels remotely from multiple redundant locations for notifying personnel in case of an emergency. In addition to monitoring alarm panel sites, the base also wanted to monitor a water system on the base that includes several tank and pump sites to provide the tank levels and pump statuses to the central computers. When the base needed a reliable monitoring system to communicate through their new Motorola ASTRO IV&D radio infrastructure, they turned to GDS to assist them with the design and implementation of this system.
GDS developed applications for the Motorola ACE3600 Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) equipment at alarm panel sites as well as the tank and pump sites to communicate with each other directly in a Remote-To-Remote operation through the Motorola ASTRO digital trunked radio system. Each of the central computers includes the Wonderware Graphical User Interface software supplied and programmed by GDS, and a Field Interface Unit (FIU) that provides the communications connectivity from the central computer.
The computers operate independently and receive all alarm notifications as well as the tank level and pump information from the ACE3600 RTUs in the field. While all of the computers monitor the system, one is set-up as the Primary computer to perform radio interrogations to periodically verify communications integrity of the system. If a site is unable to respond, a communications failure alarm is activated on all computers notifying the respective operators of the issue. If the primary computer fails, one of the other computers has been programmed to automatically assume the primary computer’s role, while leaving the remaining computers in secondary mode.
This system has proven itself to be reliable for the base, and they are dependent upon the long term reliability and performance of the Motorola equipment to provide them with the 24/7/365 alarm panel monitoring operations.
SCADA Solutions for Public Address (PA), Siren, and Strobe Applications
During an emergency or critical event caused by a hazardous situation, mass notification is needed to provide an alert for personnel within range of the situation urging them to take safety precautions. Public Address (PA), Siren and Strobe systems provide such alerts or warning notifications.
GDS has deployed several such systems based on Motorola ACE3600 RTUs and its standard Public Address (PA), Siren, and Strobe Application. A case in point is a large military base that performs testing on military equipment over a wide geographic area of the base. GDS’ solution provides command and control hardware at all PA, Siren, and Strobe locations.
GDS’ SCADA system for this application utilizes control pushbuttons, status indicator lights, and a hand held microphone. An operator at one or more control units dispersed geographically throughout the base can activate a specific siren or group of sirens and strobes within a specific test area, and also make voice announcements. The system currently does not require a Human Machine Interface (HMI) this capability can be added to the system.
In such projects, GDS typically supplies and installs the application, necessary pre and post-sale support, Motorola SCADA equipment, and the PA/Siren and Strobe equipment such as speaker towers, siren controllers, and strobe units. were supplied and installed by GDS as part of the project. Installation of the Motorola ACE3600 RTU and PA/Siren equipment, RTU to siren controller wiring, AC wiring, conduit, and new coax cable and antenna installation is generally performed by GDS. System troubleshooting and maintenance training is usually included.
This system has proven to be reliable for the base, and they are dependent upon the long term reliability and performance of the Motorola equipment which provides base personnel with warnings of true emergency situations and also of tests in progress.