In a crisis situation, communication is essential; it's not the only piece that's necessary to properly managing a crisis, but it is important. And often, what this implies and involves is a honed set of technologies. Every crisis has its own relevant set of technologies to use. In remote areas, where natural disasters tend to wreak the most havoc, wireless technologies are the most apt for the job of passing along and relaying vital information to key figures. In most cases, satellite communications are required. There are two basic pieces to any satellite communication system. The end-user will most likely be concerned about his or her wireless base station. This station will be used to communication with a satellite terminal. The smallest form of a base station, you may have already seen before.
Satellite phones are a popular format. These look like big cell phones, with huge antennas that aim to achieve what's referred to as, line of sight. Line of sight is critical, when it comes to satellite technologies.
That's because you're dealing with radio frequencies (as is the case with cellular terrestrial technologies). Instead, with satellite networks and technologies, you're beaming information from one point to another. This is another reason that the wireless base station is most popular in the open wilderness. In urban areas, line of sight may not be an easy thing to accomplish, if there are a towering skyscrapers all around that get in the way of that line, between you (the base) and the satellite above (out in space). As mentioned, there are a number of formats and applications that wireless satellite technologies can come in; flavors, if you will.
The satellite phone is good for individuals that need to keep in contact, or need to communicate with mainstream networks, such as the primary phone network. In such a case, the wireless base station will merely act as a data conduit, where voice is transmitted as data from the network of satellites, out to the primary/mainstream phone network. Another data application of these technologies is general, consumer-grade internet data processing. There are mainstream satellite networks of residential and commercial grade internet subscriptions in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia that provide an alternative to terrestrial-based networks, such as coax cable and standard fiber. Another application of the wireless base station is surveillance or even remote control. In this scenario, the base station is used to control an aircraft, which is, in turn, equipped with surveillance equipment (e.g. video cameras). Sometimes, within military contexts, these aircraft's are equipped with arsenals. The latter scenario involves employs aircraft's that are commonly referred to as military drones.
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