Loudoun Amateur Radio
RADIO RELAY &
User Operational Requirements
Loudoun Amateur Radio Group
Dave Putman, Chairman
Loudoun County, Virginia
PREFACE The members of the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group have considerable experience and expertise in the planning, design, system engineering, development, testing, installation and operation of amateur radio equipment and systems in support of the Groups own communications needs and most importantly, in providing sustainable and reliable communications services to various public and government agencies in Loudoun County. The Group participates in about six operations annually. Communications support is provided to the Loudoun County Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service of Virginia, the Town of Leesburg, the Goose Creek District of the Boy Scouts of America, the American Radio Relay League Field Day and Loudoun Amateur Radio Group Balloon Launch, Flight and Recovery Operations. Participation range from a dozen plus members for Scouting events to four dozen plus for the annual Field Day Exercise. Many members have successfully completed training conducted by the Amateur Radio Emergency Service of Virginia. Members mobilized and deployed Amateur Radio Emergency Service support to the American Red Cross on September 11, 2001. These services are austere, have single point vulnerabilities and are provided at a considerable expenditure of time, equipment and personnel. It is with this experience that the Group recognizes the need for more efficient and effective radio relay and communications capabilities.
In developing these user operational requirements, the Group recognizes other in-county and adjacent county communications systems and has no intent to duplicate, but where feasible and of mutual benefit, to encourage integration. Furthermore, the Group recognizes the public services and public safety benefits of this communications system and intends it to be a full period, open service capability for all amateur radio operators and organizations.
During the development of these requirements the Group consulted with Tom Dawson, WB3AKD, Emergency Coordinator, Loudoun County, Virginia Amateur Radio Emergency Services, and with __________ of the Loudoun County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
These user operational requirements are therefore based upon the above, and the Group trusts these will successfully guide and lead to the time-phased and economically affordable research, development, test, evaluation and operational deployment of the required capabilities.
A. Emergency and Pubic Safety Communications.
1. American Red Cross. Support disaster operations and training exercises of the Loudoun County Chapter of American Red Cross (LCC-ARC). These LCC-ARC communications requirements are like those provided in 2000 and 2001 for the LCC-ARC Support to the Reston Bike Ride Across Loudoun County and the September 11, 2001 deployment to Dulles International Airport in support of the LCC-ARC. The former is used by the LCC-ARC to train in disaster relief and is also a fund raising opportunity.
a. Provide written message, voice, data including facsimile and automatic position reporting, still photograph and video emergency communications services among the Chapter Headquarters in Leesburg, a minimum of four discrete LCC-ARC support centers within Loudoun County, two mobile command or liaison positions deployed any where in Loudoun County, and an adjacent ARC Chapter or ARC Higher Headquarters. Written message, voice and data traffic entered at any one point will be delivered to any other point within the system within 15 minutes of entry. In addition, support voice communications into the above network by dismounted, low power handheld radios deployed in the vicinity of any disaster site, support facility, or any isolated location in Loudoun County.
b. Initiate deployment of the above capabilities within two hours of activation. Activation will be initiated by request for emergency communications support from LCC-ARC to the LARG Emergency Services Coordinator or designated alternate.
c. Within 8 hours of initial operation at each location, be capability of 24 hour a day operations at that location for a sustain period.
d. Within 2 hours of activation, provide written message traffic entry and exit to at least one external service point as may be requested by LCC-ARC. The specific external service point will be based on circumstances and availability of an external agent. These external communications links may include high frequency radio circuits capable of supporting the required transmission means and where necessary are connected or integrated into overall local Loudoun County networks.
e. Within 2 hours of activation, provide an on-call or deployable still photographic and video communications link between any LCC-ARC designated remote site and any one fixed user with the network described in paragraph A1a above.
2. Additional Disaster Site Communications Support. While providing the communications to the LCC-ARC in paragraph A1 above, also furnish emergency communications support at a disaster site for other government and/or non-government agencies within Loudoun County. The disaster site may be remote and in an unimproved area of Loudoun County. It is likely that this and some or all of the LCC-ARC requirements will have to be met at the same time. This disaster may be a forest fire, flood, storm damage, missing persons search, plane crash or other event which could tax or limit normal local existing communications.
a. Provide voice, written message traffic and data including facsimile and automatic position reporting communications from the disaster site to a minimum of four responding agency headquarters, staging areas or remote support facilities located within Loudoun County.
b. In addition, support dismounted, low-power, voice handheld radio communications in the vicinity of the disaster site and to a minimum of four remote agencies support sites.
c. As may be required by the Loudoun County Emergency Coordinator, provide one or more external emergency communications links into District 2 Emergency Nets, and a link to the Amateur Radio Emergency Service station in Richmond, Virginia at the Emergency Operations Center of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Communications links include high frequency radio circuits capable of supporting the required transmission means and where necessary are connected or integrated into overall local Loudoun County networks.
d. Within 2 hours, provide an on-call or deployable photographic and video communications link from the disaster site to one or more of the supported agencies.
e. Response and full-period operational times are like those required in paragraph A1 above.
3. Emergency Communications Exercises. Periodically, at the call of the Loudoun County Emergency Coordinator of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service of Virginia, emergency communications exercises and drills will be conducted in Loudoun County. These are intended to train Amateur Radio Emergency Service members and test and evaluate supporting emergency communications systems.
a. Provide voice, written message, data including facsimile and automatic position reporting, still photograph and video emergency communications services in support of the emergency communications exercise.
b. Communications links are required among all participating stations including dismounted, handheld radio stations within Loudoun County and one or more external links into District 2 Emergency Nets, and a link to the Amateur Radio Emergency Service station in Richmond, Virginia at the Virginia Emergency Operations Center. Communications links include high frequency radio circuits capable of supporting the required transmission means and where necessary are connected or integrated into overall local Loudoun County networks.
c. These exercises may be unannounced or pre-planned but will be time limited.
B. Community - Public Services
1. Leesburg Community - Public Service. Provide voice communications support for the First Night Leesburg Event on December 31 each year.
a. Establish a Net Control Station in the Leesburg Town Office to communicate with and among dismounted, low-power handheld stations at up to 20 locations throughout downtown Leesburg.
b. This is a planned event with a 1600 hour deployment, 1700 hour operational and a 2300 hour close station time schedule.
2. Other Loudoun County Community - Public Service. Provide voice communications support for other community activities including parades, national and local celebrations, and fund raising events.
a. Establish a Net Control Station in the community center, school or town center to communicate with and among dismounted, low-power handheld stations at up to 10 locations throughout community. These are pre-planned operations and are time limited.
b. An external voice, written message, data, photographic or video communications link to another part of Loudoun County may be required.
c. These communities are located throughout and in some cases remote parts of Loudoun County.
d. On unique public service operations, a special event station may be established and operated on HF and higher frequencies including extension or integration of the HF communications circuit into a VHF or UHF network.
C. Boy Scouts of America Amateur Radio Demonstrations.
1. Establish an amateur radio station at a remote Scout Camp, or at a Troop, Cub Pack or Den meeting within or adjacent to Loudoun County and demonstrate voice, written message, data, Morse Code, photographic and video communications to the Cub and Boy Scouts by communicating to other amateur radio stations in Loudoun County and throughout the World.
a. These are pre-planned events with scheduled deployment times. Two or three of these events are conducted annually.
b. The Scouts log into the station and under the supervision and control of a Group member establish communications with other amateur radio stations in Loudoun County and throughout the World. Scouts practice the Morse Code and learn about the Radio Merit Badge and how to become an amateur radio operator.
c. The need exists for voice, data, and video links among the demonstration station and stations located in Loudoun County.
d. Group members check in with the remote demonstration site on HF, VHF and UHF radios and talk with the Scouts.
D. LARG Balloon Launch, Flight Tracking and Recovery Operations.
1. The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group conducts an occasional high altitude balloon and communications payload launch, flight tracking and recovery operation.
a. Provide voice communications among the Loudoun County Based Mission Control Station, the remote launch site and up to 10 mobile tracking and recovery stations. The mobile tracking and recovery stations are deployed and move throughout eastern West Virginia, Northern Virginia, north-central Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania. HF, VHF and UHF radio communications systems are deployed.
b. Provide Automatic Position Reporting of the balloon and all tracking and recovery stations to the Mission Control Station. Individual tracking and recovery stations shall provide Automatic Position Reporting data and available Radio Direction Finding data to the Mission Control Station. All deployed stations monitor the reporting and control communications. The Mission Control Station will transmit operational directions to tracking stations and to launch and payload systems as determined by the Mission Commander.
c. When operational feasible, provide a live video link from the launch site to the Mission Control Station and rebroadcast this video to fixed stations within Loudoun County.
d. Provide rebroadcast of payload signals throughout Loudoun County.
e. These are pre-planned events with scheduled deployment times.
E. LARG Commuter Communications.
1. Members of the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group with mobile VHF and/or UHF radios commute Monday through Friday from homes in Loudoun County to work site in central and eastern Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties.
a. Provide voice communications among the commuting mobile stations and fixed stations located throughout Loudoun County.
b. Provide relay and reporting of mobile stations locations that are equipped with Automatic Position Reporting System.
c. These are modern mobile stations equipped with no more than 50 watt transmitters and 3 to 5 db gain mobile whip antennas.
F. LARG Sunday Night Net.
1. The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group conducts a weekly Sunday Night VHF Net.
a. Provide voice communications among the Net Control Station, the Alternate Net Control Station, and all members checking into the net from throughout Loudoun County.
b. These stations are generally fixed stations but some are dismounted, low-power handheld radios with small whip antennas. Some station are located at the outer reaches of Loudoun County.
Required Essential Communications Capabilities
These are the user
identified required essential communications capabilities. They provide
fulfillment of the operational requirements and when implemented significantly
improve the Groups capabilities to support public services, public
safety, emergency response, and the operations of the Loudoun Amateur Radio
Group within Loudoun County, Virginia.