13Satellite for Public Safety and Emergency Communications

13.1 Introduction

Satellite communication in the twenty‐first century has gained a place in the spectrum of communication approaches, serving multiple purposes, even in the presence of advances such as fiber optics. Globally, investments of over $100 billion characterize these systems offering a supportive infrastructure for communications in multiple governments and businesses (Elbert 2008). The systems conventionally apply a satellite in a geostationary earth orbit geosynchronous satellite system (GEO) rotating around the equator, or any other fixed point, once in 24 hours and maintaining synchronicity with the movement of the Earth (Elbert 2008). The GEO satellites are located approximately 36 000 km from the surface of the earth, offering global coverage at once despite the two‐second possible delays in communication emanating from the distance (Evans et al. 2005). There are non‐GEO satellites located less than 36 000 km from the surface of the earth, which offer fewer delays during the propagation of communication (Elbert 2008). Nevertheless, the latter forms have limited coverage for communication.

Satellite communication has found a popular market in the area of public safety communication. The application of these systems proved beneficial in the earthquake disaster of 1985 in Mexico City when satellite communication persisted despite the failure of all other terrestrial communication forms. (Elbert 2008) In the ...

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