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HF as the Interoperable Standard for Emergency / Disaster Relief
Communications Between Organisations, Agencies, NGOs, Government, and
HF Interoperative Communications
For emergencies and disaster relief, there is often a need for government and non-governmental organisations (NGO) and amateur radio emergency services to communicate with each other. The first step is to gain agreement between counterpart organisations to cooperatively implement interoperative communications. Some organisations have not been aware that such communication is possible. Until recently, direct infrastructureless interoperation has only been available on a very limited basis for local communications, between certain organisations. With the many organisations that increasingly have HF ALE capability in the field, an interoperation solution now exists for all of these services to communicate with each other on-demand via HF radio. Different parts of the HF spectrum are useful for various distances, including local, national, regional, and international. The capacity to utilise the HF spectrum for communication on-demand with a common calling and alerting system, instantly provides a unique infrastructure-less communication medium. Infrastructure such as internet base station networks can also be utilised as part of HF ALE interoperation. ALE provides unique capability to fluidly use the same system for both infrastructure and non-infrastructure communications, to network independently, or in ad-hoc peer-to-peer networks.
Amateur Radio ALE Interoperation
The amateur radio HF bands are common ubiquitous frequencies available internationally, and available for emergency / disaster relief communications. The International Amateur Radio Service has standardised global ALE channels for interoperative communications, and these ALE channels form the basis of a globally accessable common medium for all organisations and agencies to communicate with each other.
ALE Channel Planning - Technical Foundation for Interoperation
Interoperative HF communication is realised through channel planning between cooperative counterpart organisations for HF cross-channel ALE compatibility. ALE makes on-demand HF calls between organisations easy to implement. It is not necessary for the organisation to obtain new licensed frequencies, since each organisation's presently assigned transmitting channels are utilised for the interoperation. In the organisation's communication plan, the new interoperable channel utilises a presently authorised transmitting channel, with an additional receive frequency of the counterpart organisation configured as a half-duplex or split frequency channel.
EXAMPLE: NGO1 TO NGO2 COMMUNICATIONS VIA HF-ALE
Half-duplex interoperative channels may be employed for Gov-to-NGO communications, or NGO1-to-NGO2 communications:
EXAMPLE: AMATEUR TO NGO COMMUNICATIONS HF-ALE
For communications between NGO and amateur radio emergency services the channel configuration is as follows:
Plain Language Netcalls
Plain language ALE Netcalls help to provide easy interface by users of HF-ALE interoperative networks.
As an example, to call an amateur ALE station, an NGO radio operator could simply select the interoperative channel and make an ALE NETCALL such as "HAM". Other NETCALLS and channel configurations could be developed within various plans.
Once an interoperative HF-ALE plan is implemented and programmed into the transceivers of counterpart organisations, communications are immediately available in the field on-demand without the need for prior notification between organisations during emergencies and disasters.
Channel Coordination Assistance
Channel planning and coordination assistance is available on HFLINK group forum.
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