Resilient Radio

Resilient Radio

Resilient Radio is the product of my experience of what can happen when a community lacks clear, relevant and timely information to an emergency (in our case the Kaikoura earthquake).

Resilient Radio is a solar/battery low power FM (LPFM) radio station (in a suitcase) which can be remotely controlled and updated through a variety of redundant channels. It can be set up and used for normal community broadcasts (schools, events etc.), but when an emergency arises it can be switched to begin broadcasting useful local information on how to respond to the type of emergency happening. As local information becomes available it can be added to the broadcast. This provides an additional source of information to enable resilient community response, especially when other services are down or overloaded. Information can be updated by both national and local organisations.

I’ll write more about this soon – but suffice to say we have a prototype, have done some testing including remote control (via SMS only so far), and are now looking at adding satellite control to allow it to be used in very remote communities (ie Pacific Islands).

The initial testing showed good coverage out to 3km and reception out to 5km. FM is essentially line of site. We hope to test the station soon on an island which should give better coverage onto the mainland.

The prototype with solar battery, transmitter and computer.
Solar panel (foreground) and antenna (background)

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