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Emergency Communications


Rapid Deployment Emergency Communications Infrastructure

Tech Area / Field

  • INF-OTH/Other/Information and Communications

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • International Agency on Complex Monitoring of the Earth, Natural Disasters and Technogenic Catastrophes, Russia, Moscow


  • Geoscan (UK) PLC, UK, London\nThe University of York, UK, YO, Heslington\nUniversity of Electro-Communications, Japan, Tokyo

Project summary

Among the newly developed engineering techniques in the field of telecommunications the most important are the broadband wireless communications systems for a new generation of communication links destined to provide large cities, rural towns and remote areas with secured emergency communications network in times of catastrophes such as large-scale technological and natural disasters, local military conflicts or terrorist attacks, enabling governments, businesses and emergency works to operate normally. The main requirements of such systems include their high integral capacity, ability for rapid deployment and commencement of communications and broadcasting service within a few hours of the disaster. The value of such an emergency communications system is recognized by the recent destruction of the communications infrastructure due to war in Iraq, series of destructive earthquakes in Pakistan and India in October of 2005, disruption in broadcasting as result of fire at Ostankino TV Tower in Moscow, tragic consequences of tsunami in South East Asia and significant destruction of telecommunications infrastructure and long-term blocking of communications due to hurricane and related flood effects in New Orleans and other places in South of the USA.

The above mentioned requirements can be satisfied by the development of wireless broadband communication systems through stratospheric platforms. Such systems present promising opportunities in the development of telecommunications network that can solve security problems and at the same time meet the market’s growing demand for high-speed multimedia services with the provision of interactivity and mobility that cannot be provided by the existing ground and space communication infrastructures.

EMERCOM, the proposed emergency wireless communications infrastructure, is based on the deployment of Russian designed M-55 stratospheric aircraft. M-55 is a multifunctional and versatile aircraft that operates at altitudes of 17-20 km and is designed to carry different payload including remote sensing and communications complexes to assist in rescue operations and to provide vital communication links, fixed and mobile, in emergency situations.

M-55 stratosphere aircraft, the core technology of EMERCOM communication infrastructure, was developed by the Myasishchev Design Bureau (MDB). Operating as a Stratosphere Telecommunication Platform (STP) M-55 flies in a circular corridor at the altitude ~20 km providing a cone of high-speed wireless communications over the served area 200-500 km in diameter. M-55 is a manned aircraft that is able to carry 2000 kg of telecommunication equipment on board with power source 40 kW. The EMERCOM service is provided by a relay service involving 3-5 aircrafts, each flight time is about 5 hours duration. The salient feature of the proposed EMERCOM infrastructure is the fact that M-55 stratospheric aircraft, unlike other High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) that are currently being developed, has been operational since 1988 and used in many international scientific expeditions.

It is supposed that the developed system will comprise the onboard complex of the fixed wireless communication within the frequency range 27 - 31 GHz providing a multi-cell communication structure in the area of service ~ 100 km in diameter at data transmission rate ~ 50 Мbit/s in each cell, and two additional channels at the rate up to 100 Мbit/s with the effective range ~60 km, and a complex of mobile communications within the frequency range of GSM (1,71 – 1,88GHz) and IMT-2000 (1,885 – 2,170 GHZ), with the number of virtual base stations from 150 up to 500 in the area of service up to 300 km in diameter. It is also supposed to develop a communication channel between STP and a geostationary satellite-repeater to transfer operative information in real time to remote terminals (for example, to a centre of rescue operations control or to headquarters on monitoring of crisis situations), located beyond the STP operation area. It is planned to develop inpidual communication channels to provide broadcasting via STP including, satellite television programs broadcasting.

The ground-based part of EMERCOM infrastructure will comprise fixed gateway stations with data transmission rate up to 100 Мbit/s, as well as fixed and mobile (car running gear) users stations with data transmission rates 50 Мbit/s и 6 Мbit/s, operating in the range 27 – 31GHz. The users terminals of IMT-2000 system are standard products, such as handsets of the 3rd generation, pocket portable computers, notebooks and so on providing voice and video communications at the rates 8,6 Кbit/s and 144-384 Кbit/s correspondingly in each direction, access to Internet and data transmission via PCМCI cards in portable computers and so on. A mobile (on a car running gear) post of tele-medicine can be included in to the composition of the ground EMERCOM infrastructure.


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