Now you can put the internet and 4G-LTE and Wi-Fi in helicopters and fixed wing small aircraft. Police and SAR helicopters can stream live video to multiple screens, fixed location and mobile. In the USA, police and other emergency services are switching to AT&T FirstNet. In the UK police and emergency services are switching from TETRA UHF to Airwave LTE.
Helicopters normally fly between 1,000 and 10,000 ft. well within coverage of 4G-LTE. At ground level, in urban regions cell coverage is limited by buildings. This requires a number of cell towers to provide quality service throughout the region. Cell tower transmissions with aircraft are not handicapped and service is typically limited to LoS (line of sight). At ground level the horizon is the LoS limit which is approximately 10 miles. An aircraft at 5,000 ft has a LoS of 85 miles.
Within a radius of 85 miles a number of populated regions with cell towers should be within range. Currently 3G is more prevalent than 4G in remote regions. GPS and text messages can be sent over 3G networks. 4G allows streaming video and voice PTT along with GPS and texting.
The MobiPack consists of rugged 10" Android tablet, an Iridium Go and an InHand IR300 4G-LTE router with WiFi and dimensions of 90mm x 90mm x 25 mm. Puck antenna for 4G is included as are 4G and satellite test accounts.
The portable MobiPack is mounted in a Pelican case with dimensions of 33cm x 30cm x 15cm and intended for temporary operation only and should not be attached to the airframe unless approved by an STC.
For seasonal wildfires the portable case version can beused without the need for STC providing it is not affixed to the airframe.
The NAL SHOUT ns is ideal for search and rescue personnel. Very light and small, it can be worn on the body and links Iridium satellites to smartphones over Bluetooth. This allows for GPS tracking and two-way text messages.
The SHOUT ns can also operate with a CR123 non-rechargeable battery. The ns supports transmission of free-text, canned messages, and a combination of free-text and canned messages via a smart phone. The device can periodically wake up from sleep to send its position report to a command center. A dual button 911 feature is used for immediate emergency alert notifications. Data is packaged in either standard or 256-bit AES encrypted format. Data can also be sent in encrypted PECOS formats to include brevity codes.
WebGate can be installed in dispatch servers, laptops, tablets, and large screen smartphones. WebGate is cloud based or can be installed in a regional server. WebGate can act as a primary dispatch desk or as a messaging screen in field applications including emergency alert processing. WebGate can link offices around the globe sharing screens similar to ZOOM linking. WebGate is compatible with ESRI and Arc-GIS, placing weather maps on the screen.
Datalink Webgate with simulated screens and data
Datalink International and its core team have been working together for over 20 years. In that time Datalink has created specialized solutions for a wide range of clients around the globe. The Royal New Zealand Air Force equipped its P3 Orion long range patrol aircraft with Datalink i50 MobiHubs and were later involved in the search for the missing Boeing 777 MH370. The Swedish Space Agency uses the Datalink i50 MobiHub to control high altitude scientific balloons rising to altitudes over 100,000 ft.
On September 2011 Taliban fighters attacked the US embassy in Kabul. A few days later the US State Department contacted Datalink to ask if Datalink could provide a GPS application to work with the embassy’s P25 portable radios.
Datalink delivered a working solution, including DataGate and WebGates, within a few weeks. Providing GPS tracking for all their P25 portables.
In 2007 the London Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism squad contracted Datalink to develop an Android-based, covert GPS tracking system for undercover officers.
Datalink is under a multi-year contract to deliver bespoke variants of DataGate for undisclosed applications.