Addressable Radios for Emergency Alert
Early Warning: Challenges, Options & Solutions
S.Rangarajan and Mala Rao
WorldSpace Satellite Radio,
Communities Disaster Resilient
11 December 2007
Global System Requirements:
Early Warning Delivery
To be addressed by country, group, tier and also the current location of the receiver
To be delivered with a latency of less than 10 seconds once the message is sent out
To automatically trigger a siren/alarm even if the receiver is not under use
The receiver should display text and also automatically switch to audio information
in a local language
Should cater to diverse requirements/infrastructure ranging all the way from a
sophisticated weather office, down to a fisherman out at sea
Should go beyond conventional modes of communication and
supplement/complement other technologies
Should survive even under most hazardous conditions & power failures
Should be re-used for the daily requirements of the community (entertainment,
agriculture, health, training etc)
Should be economical even when there is a scattered population
Should adopt the Common Alert Protocol (CAP)- International standards for all
hazards, all media
WorldSpace Satellite Coverage
In Service
In Service
Applications of WorldSpace Satellite System
Data Multicasting
File Broadcast Services
•Direct delivery of multiple
channels of Pre recorded/
Live Audio to compact
•Provides for the distribution of files
to all recipients of a CUG
Data stream transmission
Provides the distribution of data
streams to all recipients of a CUG.
E.g. Stock Markets or News Streams
Combined Live Audio &
Slide Show (CLASS)
Synchronous, live instructor lead
Distribution of Emergency
Alert Messages
Selectively addressable, secure,
reliable and instantaneous
All Hazard Warning via
WorldSpace Satellite
Event Sensors
Radio or Land lines
To AREA Receivers
Warning Centers
Satellite Coverage Area
CAP formatting,
Audio in Multiple
WorldSpace AREA Solution
•Existing Space & Ground segment.
•Extensive coverage
•Small, portable, affordable receive equipment.
•Works even when the terrestrial broadcast
infrastructure may get knocked off by the
•Alert in time and in local languages.
•Reach beyond conventional modes of
Ideal for Real Disaster Management on a large scale
AREA Solution: Features
•Alert signal generated by Authorized agency, as per CAP (Common Alert
Protocol) format
•Signal uploaded by a secure web interface to WorldSpace uplink server
•Inserted as a message into WS channel, addressed by group or country or
•XML output for delivery to other media.
•Interface for audio-capture (local language).
•Insertion of audio on WorldSpace channel.
•Command to remotely switch the audio channel.
•Specially designed WS radio (AREA) all the time looking for an alert message
•AREA connects to an external box via USB to provide:
More extensive display
Operate a relay to trigger a siren when the alert arrives
Interface with a GPS receiver for geo-referencing of the alert.
Normal Radio transforms to Disaster Radio as needed.
AREA is activated whether the radio is being used or not. 6
States of AREA receiver
Power On
Tune Channel
Playing Audio
Cancel Alert
Display Text
Playing EW Audio
Power Off
Receiving Alert
Sound Siren
Portfolio of Services
•Text only: Trigger the alarm and display the CAP parameters as text on
the AREA receiver
•Text plus Switch to one of WS channels: Trigger the alarm and display
the CAP parameters as text on the AREA receiver; Switch to an existing
BCID like CNN or a data channel like RANET
•Text plus shared Disaster Audio channel: Trigger the alarm and display
the CAP parameters as text on the AREA receiver; Switch AREA to play the
Disaster Audio channel in which the Alert provider can insert audio
announcements relating to the Disaster (including in local languages)
•Text plus Dedicated Audio channel: The alert provider leases from WS a
dedicated 16 kbps audio channel the content of which is maintained by the
alert provider 24X7, with a CUG encryption for this audio. At the onset of
alert the designated AREA receivers trigger the alarm, display the CAP
parameters as text and switch to playing the dedicated audio channel.
Alert Generation
to suit
different needs
•AREA-A is a configuration that connects
to the USB port of a computer.
•Supports all audio and data services
of WorldSpace.
•Onset of alert is indicated by a
computer- generated siren.
•Displays all the alert parameters (mandatory &
•Can support audio/data download even during
the alert state.
•Can support text-to-speech for the alert
Ideal for Airports, Harbors, NGO’s & First Responders
•AREA-C is ideal for community deployment.
•Immunity to loss of mains power
at the time of the alert.
•7 AH battery can be recharged
by mains or Solar.
•External siren controlled by a relay
that is closed by the WorldSpace signal.
•Can be connected to Public Address system.
•Additional box displays all the alert parameters.
•Radio plays the remotely selected audio channel
that carries authentic information.
Ideal for remote locations, beaches,
Community Centers & Worship places
•AREA-M is meant for mobile users.
•Through the external box
a GPS receiver is connected.
•The box displays the current location of the receiver
before the onset of alert.
•The alert is triggered only if the current location
of the receiver is within the alert zone defined by the sender.
•Can be powered by the vehicle power supply
and it does not use the external battery and siren.
•Ideal for the travelers on land and sea.
Ideal for trucks, ships, boats & vessels
Global Acceptance
Indonesia has 3 nodal agencies (BMG, KomInfo & Ristek)
and all 3 have agreed to work jointly to include AREA in
Banten pilot (Dec 26, 2007) to comply with Federal Disaster
Law (passed in May 07)
Asia Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), an Intergovernmental agency with 22 member countries has
requested partnership with us to promote AREA in the
member countries
Sarvodaya, a leading NGO, has drafted an MOU with the
government of Sri Lanka (DMC) that includes sharing
Sarvodaya’s AREA solution to the government for Early
NDWC, Thailand has accepted the technical capabilities of
AREA and included it in a competitive tender
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is testing
AREA solution in parts of Africa
Key Successful Demonstrations
NDWC, Thailand
IMD, India
DMC, Sri Lanka
Pacific Corp, Thailand
Ristek, Indonesia
KomInfo, Indonesia
Meteorological Dept, Malaysia
Demos and presentations given to
• 50+ government representatives
• 20+ Non govt entities (UN, ADPC, etc)
• 100+ Private companies
Request for pilots/bids received from India (+local Govts),
ITU on behalf of Pacific Island Countries, Thailand,
Indonesia (+ Local Govts), Sri Lanka, Maldives,
Bangladesh, multiple agents and Private Companies.
Advantage: AREA
Coverage already exists and so easy to roll out services.
Being a broadcast service, cost per site decreases as the network grows.
Possibility of expanding to other geographical areas.
Possibility of expanding to multiple sectors, like education or health.
Does not require technical expertise to install, operate or maintain.
Can be configured even in places with poor or no Electric mains supply.
Would survive adverse environmental conditions.
Independent of terrestrial, telecom and Internet availability.
• Lower initial cost than any other satellite-based system.
• Lower recurrent costs.
• Cost can be spread across multiple projects as the system can be reused.
A single system for multiple Alert providing Agencies
like Police, Local governments, Healthcare etc.
In Summary
The challenge of Emergency Alert is
• Distribution over vast geographical areas
• Multiplicity of Disaster events, Multiple
• Need for coordination among multiple
departments & agencies
WorldSpace AREA offers
Selective Addressability & Controllability
Immediate wake-up by siren & buzz
Text and Audio messages
A common system for multiple alert providers
Field-tested & Ready-to-go
The added advantage ….
The audio capability AREA Receiver
• Can be effectively used by the community
during “non-alert” times for broadcasting
information on health, education, agricultural
practices etc.
• Provide training sessions in handling
• Provide access to entertainment
Thus effectively integrating the device as a part of the
community’s daily lives

Alert - LIRNEasia