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1) Satellite
A satellite telephone, satellite phone, or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to
orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. They provide similar functionality to terrestrial
mobile telephones; voice, short messaging service and low-bandwidth internet access are
supported through most systems.

Depending on the architecture of a particular system, coverage may include the entire Earth, or
only specific regions. More recent satellite phones are similar in size to a regular mobile phone
while some prototype satellite phones have no distinguishable difference from an ordinary
smartphone. Satphones are popular on expeditions into remote areas where terrestrial cellular
service is unavailable.

A fixed installation, such as one used aboard a ship, may include large, rugged, rack-mounted
electronics, and a steerable microwave antenna on the mast that automatically tracks the
overhead satellites. Smaller installations using VoIP over a two-way satellite broadband service
such as BGAN or VSAT bring the costs within the reach of leisure vessel owners. Internet
service satellite phones have notoriously poor reception indoors, though it may be possible to get
a consistent signal near a window or in the top floor of a building if the roof is sufficiently thin.
The phones have connectors for external antennas that are often installed in vehicles and
buildings. The systems also allow for the use of repeaters, much like terrestrial mobile phone

Satellite phone Network

• Geosynchronous satellites

Some satellite phones use satellites in geostationary orbit, which are meant to remain in a fixed
position in the sky at all times. These systems can maintain near-continuous global coverage
with only three or four satellites, reducing the launch costs. However the satellites used for these
systems are very heavy (approx. 5000 kg) and therefore very expensive to build and launch. The
satellites sit at an altitude of about 22,000 miles (35,000 km); a noticeable delay is present while
making a phone call or using data services due to the large distances from their users. The
amount of bandwidth available on these systems is substantially higher than that of the Low
Earth Orbit (LEO) systems; all three active systems provide portable satellite Internet using
laptop-sized terminals with speeds ranging from 60 kbits to 512 kbits per second (Kbps).

Low Earth orbit

LEO telephones utilize LEO (low Earth orbit) satellite technology. The advantages include
providing worldwide wireless coverage with no gaps. LEO satellites orbit the earth in high
speed, low altitude orbits with an orbital time of 70–100 minutes, an altitude of 640 to 1120
kilometers (400 to 700 miles), and provide coverage cells of about (at a 100-minute orbital
period) 2800 km in radius (about 1740 mi). Since the satellites are not geosynchronous, they
must fly complete orbits. At least one satellite must have line-of-sight to every coverage area at
all times to guarantee complete coverage. Depending on the positions of both the satellite and
terrestrial user, a usable pass of an individual LEO satellite will typically last 4–15 minutes on
average; thus, a constellation of satellites is required to maintain coverage (as is done with
Iridium, Globalstar, GPS, and others).

Cost of a satellite phone

Satphones on display

While it is possible to obtain used handsets for the Thuraya, Iridium, and Globalstar
networks for approximately US$200, the newest handsets are still quite expensive.
The Iridium 9505A, although released in 2001, still sold in March 2010 for well over
$1,000 USD new. Since satellite phones are purpose-built for one particular network
and cannot be switched to other networks, the price of handsets varies with the
performance of the network. If a satellite phone provider encounters trouble with its
network the handset prices will fall, then increase once new satellites are launched.
Similarly, handset prices will increase when calling rates are reduced.

Use in disaster response

Most mobile telephone networks operate close to capacity during normal times and large spikes
in call volumes caused by widespread emergencies often overload the systems just when they are
needed the most. Reporters and journalists have also been using satellite phones to communicate
and report on events in war zones such as Iraq.

Also, terrestrial cell antennas and networks can be damaged by natural disasters. Satellite
telephony can avoid this problem and be critical in natural disaster communications. Satellite
phone networks themselves are prone to congestion as satellites and spot beams cover a very
large area with relatively few voice channels.
2) Amateur radio emergency
Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants,
called "hams", use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other
radio amateurs for public services, recreation and self-training. Amateur radio operation is
licensed by an appropriate government entity as coordinated through the International
Telecommunication Union. An estimated two million people throughout the world are regularly
involved with amateur radio. The term "amateur" does not imply a lack of skill or quality, but
rather that amateur radio and its operators work outside of an official, governmental or
commercial capacity.


While all ham has some emergency communications capability, those who are particularly
interested in the public service aspects of the hobby usually affiliate with an organized group for
disaster specific training, quick mobilization and to practice emergency skills.

International Organizations:

The Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference (GAREC) is held in a new
location yearly by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), hosting discussion and
coordination of large-scale and cross-border amateur radio emergency response.

Indian Organizations:

In India, ‘Vigyan Prasar’ (a science promotion body under the Indian Department of Science and
Technology) coordinates simulated disaster communication exercises and also organizes training
to help people get a ham radio license in areas which are vulnerable to natural calamities.

During floods:

In times of crisis and natural disasters like floods, amateur radio is often used as a means of
emergency communication when wireline, cell phones and other conventional means of
communications fail.

Unlike commercial systems, Amateur radio is not as dependent on terrestrial facilities that can
fail. It is dispersed throughout a community without "choke points" such as cellular telephone
sites that can be overloaded.
Amateur radio operators are experienced in improvising antennas and power sources and most
equipment today can be powered by an automobile battery. Annual "Field Days" are held in
many countries to practice these emergency improvisational skills. Amateur radio operators can
use hundreds of frequencies and can quickly establish networks tying disparate agencies together
to enhance interoperability.

3) Public switched telephone network

The public switched telephone network (PSTN) also referred to as the ‘plain old telephone
service’ (POTS) is the network of the world's public circuit-switched telephone networks. It
consists of telephone lines, fiber optic cables, microwave transmission links, cellular networks,
communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables all inter-connected by switching
centers which allows any telephone in the world to communicate with any other. Originally a
network of fixed-line analog telephone systems, the PSTN is now almost entirely digital in its
core and includes mobile as well as fixed telephones.

The technical operation of the PSTN utilizes standards created by the ITU-T. These standards
allow different networks in different countries to interconnect seamlessly. There is also a single
global address space for telephone numbers based on the E.163 and E.164 standards.The
combination of the interconnected networks and the single numbering plan make it possible for
any phone in the world to dial any other phone.

Regulation of the PSTN

In most countries, the central government has a regulator dedicated to monitoring the provision
of PSTN services in that country. Their tasks may be for example to ensure that end customers
are not over-charged for services where monopolies may exist. They may also regulate the prices
charged between the operators to carry each others traffic.

Technology in the PSTN

→ Network topology

The original concept was that the telephone exchanges are arranged into hierarchies, so that if a
call cannot be handled in a local cluster, it is passed to one higher up for onward routing. This
reduced the number of connecting trunks required between operators over long distances and
also kept local traffic separate.However, in modern networks the cost of transmission and
equipment is lower and, although hierarchies still exist, they are much flatter, with perhaps only
two layers.

→Digital channels

Most automated telephone exchanges now use digital switching rather than mechanical or analog
switching. The trunks connecting the exchanges are also digital, called circuits or channels.
However analog two-wire circuits are still used to connect the last mile from the exchange to the
telephone in the home (also called the local loop). The call is then transmitted from one end to
another via telephone exchanges. The call is switched using a call set up protocol (usually ISUP)
between the telephone exchanges under an overall routing strategy.

During floods:

PSTN or the public switched telephone network is the prime network responsible for
transmitting and receiving voice, fax and data. All government and private offices,
police stations, fire stations, hospitals and majority of homes and business places
are serviced by the PSTN line.
4) Handheld
A walkie-talkie, or handheld transceiver is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio
transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously
credited to Donald L. Hings, radio engineer Alfred J. Gross, and engineering teams
at Motorola. Similar designs were created for other armed forces, and after the war,
walkie-talkies spread to public safety. Major characteristics include a half-duplex
channel (only one radio transmits at a time, though any number can listen) and a
"push-to-talk" (P.T.T) switch that starts transmission. Typical walkie-talkies resemble
a telephone handset, possibly slightly larger but still a single unit, with an antenna
sticking out of the top. Where a phone's earpiece is only loud enough to be heard by
the user, a walkie-talkie's built-in speaker can be heard by the user and those in the
user's immediate vicinity. Hand-held transceivers may be used to communicate
between each other, or to vehicle-mounted or base stations.

SCR-300-A "walkie talkie"

The first radio receiver/transmitter to be widely nicknamed "Walkie-Talkie" was the backpacked
Motorola SCR-300, created by an engineering team in 1940 at the Galvin Manufacturing

SCR-536 "handie talkie".

Motorola also produced the hand-held AM SCR-536 radio during World War II, and it was
called the "Handie-Talkie" (HT). The terms are often confused today, but the original walkie
talkie referred to the back mounted model, while the handie talkie was the device which could be
held entirely in the hand (but had vastly reduced performance). Both devices ran on vacuum
tubes and used high voltage dry cell batteries.

Radio engineer Alfred J. Gross also worked on the early technology behind the walkie-talkie
between 1934 and 1941, and is sometimes credited with inventing it. Gross had developed and
tested a small portable high-frequency radio with two-way communications features which he
dubbed a "walkie-talkie".


Some cellular telephone networks offer a push-to-talk handset that allows walkie-talkie-like
operation over the cellular network, without dialing a call each time.

Walkie-talkies for public safety, commercial and industrial uses may be part of trunked radio
systems, which dynamically allocate radio channels for more efficient use of limited radio
spectrum. Such systems always work with a base station that acts as a repeater and controller,
although individual handsets and mobiles may have a mode that bypasses the base station.

Contemporary use
Walkie-talkies are widely used in any setting where portable radio communications
are necessary, including business, public safety during disasters, military purposes,
outdoor recreation, and the like, and devices are available at numerous price points
from inexpensive analog units sold as toys up to ruggedized (i.e. waterproof or
intrinsically safe) analog and digital units for use on boats or in heavy industry.

Personal use

Most personal walkie-talkies sold are designed to operate in UHF allocations, and are designed
to be very compact, with buttons for changing channels and other settings on the face of the radio
and a short, fixed antenna. Most such units are made of heavy, often brightly colored plastic,
though some more expensive units have ruggedized metal or plastic cases. Personal walkie-
talkies are generally designed to give easy access to all available channels (and, if supplied,
squelch codes) within the device's specified allocation.
Infrared (IR) light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 0.7 and 300
micrometres, which equates to a frequency range between approximately 1 and 430 THz.

IR wavelengths are longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of terahertz radiation
microwaves. Bright sunlight provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea
level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is
ultraviolet radiation.


Infrared imaging is used extensively for military and civilian purposes. Military applications
include target acquisition, surveillance, night vision, homing and tracking. Non-military uses
include thermal efficiency analysis, remote temperature sensing, short-ranged wireless
communication, spectroscopy, and weather forecasting. Infrared astronomy uses sensor-equipped
telescopes to penetrate dusty regions of space, such as molecular clouds; detect objects such as
planets, and to view highly red-shifted objects from the early days of the universe.

IR data transmission is also employed in short-range communication among computer
peripherals and personal digital assistants. These devices usually conform to standards published
by IrDA, the Infrared Data Association. Remote controls and IrDA devices use infrared light-
emitting diodes (LEDs) to emit infrared radiation which is focused by a plastic lens into a narrow
beam. The beam is modulated, i.e. switched on and off, to encode the data. The receiver uses a
silicon photodiode to convert the infrared radiation to an electric current. It responds only to the
rapidly pulsing signal created by the transmitter, and filters out slowly changing infrared
radiation from ambient light. Infrared communications are useful for indoor use in areas of high
population density. IR does not penetrate walls and so does not interfere with other devices in
adjoining rooms. Infrared is the most common way for remote controls to command appliances.

Free space optical communication using infrared lasers can be a relatively inexpensive way to
install a communications link in an urban area operating at up to 4 gigabit/s, compared to the cost
of burying fiber optic cable.

Infrared lasers are used to provide the light for optical fiber communications systems. Infrared
light with a wavelength around 1,330 nm (least dispersion) or 1,550 nm (best transmission) are
the best choices for standard silica fibers.

Microwave transmission refers to the technology of transmitting information by the use of the
radio waves whose wavelengths are conveniently measured in small numbers of centimeters, by
using various electronic technologies. These are called microwaves. This part of the radio
spectrum ranges across frequencies of roughly 1.0 gigahertz (GHz) to 30 GHz.

In the microwave frequency band, antennas are usually of convenient sizes and shapes, and also
the use of metal waveguides for carrying the radio power works well. Furthermore, with the use
of the modern solid-state electronics and traveling wave tube technologies that have been
developed since the early 1960s, the electronics used by microwave radio transmission have been
readily used by expert electronics engineers.

Microwave radio transmission is commonly used by communication systems on the surface of

the Earth, in satellite communications, and in deep space radio communications. Other parts of
the microwave radio band are used for radars, radio navigation systems, sensor systems, and
radio astronomy.

Usage of microwave radio relay systems

During the 1950s the AT&T Communications system of microwave radio grew to carry the
majority of US Long Distance telephone traffic, as well as intercontinental television network
signals. The main motivation in 1946 to use microwave radio instead of cable was that a large
capacity could be installed quickly and at less cost. It was expected at that time that the annual
operating costs for microwave radio would be greater than for cable. There were two main
reasons that a large capacity had to be introduced suddenly: Pent up demand for long distance
telephone service, and the new medium of television, which needed more bandwidth than radio.

At the turn of the century, microwave radio relay systems are being used increasingly in portable
radio applications. The technology is particularly suited to this application because of lower
operating costs, a more efficient infrastructure, and provision of direct hardware access to the
portable radio operator.

Properties of microwave links

• Involve line of sight (LOS) communication technology

• Have limited penetration capabilities
• Signals can be degraded during Solar proton events

Uses of microwave links

• In communications between satellites and base stations

• As backbone carriers for cellular systems
• In short range indoor communications