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Read on to learn about how Panorama's GPSD MiMo Sharkee enabled Surrey SAR achieve multichannel communications with one single antenna
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When a loved one goes missing, friends and family face an anxious wait for their return and rely on well- equipped, experienced professionals to bring them home safely. That’s when Search and Rescue (SAR) teams spring into action. For them, each incident is an emergency where every second is vital.
In any rescue operation communication is critical to help coordinate emergency planning, ensure rapid response times, provide real time updates from the incident scene, and to allow for access to multiple sources of information on the go. It is therefore absolutely essential that SARs have access to robust, reliable, and always available communications. The technology must be able to operate efficiently over hill to high water and in extreme weather conditions.
The GPSD MiMo Sharkee™ is a sleek shark-fin style all-in-one vehicle antenna solution. It is an ideal antenna for public safety, search, and rescue, utility, and mass transport applications.
Its compact OEM style shark fin housing contains 2x2 MiMo antenna function for 5G/4G/3G/2G cellular, 2x2 MiMo antenna function for 2.4/5.8GHz WiFi, and an active antenna for GPS/GNSS. In addition, there is an integral stud mount for an external antenna whip that can support VHF, UHF, or 700/800MHz antennas.
The GPSD combines multiple antenna functions in one discrete housing requiring only a single hole to mount, making it an effective and efficient antenna for any vehicle.
Established in 2010, Surrey SAR is a voluntary specialist search team which assists the emergency services to find missing vulnerable adults and children. Surrey SAR are on-call 24 hours a day, with a team of 80+ people and search dogs, to respond across Surrey and surrounding areas.
An official member of the UK’s Lowland Rescue provision, Surrey SAR works closely with neighbouring SAR teams and national associations to save lives under the toughest conditions.
As a registered charity, Surrey SAR rely solely on donations and sponsorship. Although members are volunteers they require specialist equipment and therefore donations are vital.
In the summer of 2020, Surrey SAR welcomed a new mild-hybrid vehicle into its response fleet, through a grant from the UK Department for Transport. Following its blue light conversion to ensure it provides the fastest response times possible while carrying life-saving equipment, the new vehicle was turned into a fully functional initial response vehicle (IRV), which acts as the command point before the larger control van arrives.
Surrey SAR needed to equip their custom-built IRV with a bespoke state–of–the–art communications system which required multiple antennas. The charity uses a digital VHF radio system working across multiple repeater masts dotted across Surrey. They also use an in-vehicle router with an any-network unlimited 4G cellular data SIM to allow a search planner situated back at base to remotely send mapping straight to the vehicle and that can create a WiFi bubble around the vehicle for local area connectivity. They also needed GPS to allow real-time tracking of the vehicle.
Panorama’s GPSD MiMo Sharkee™ antenna proved the perfect solution, thanks to its GPS/LTE/ WiFi/VHF functions, in one hole mounting, reducing the antenna real estate on the roof. The sleek antenna design was also a bonus as it complemented the style of Surrey SAR’s new vehicle.