A public safety initiative providing EAS, Weather & Amber Alerts showcasing terrestrial radio's "Always On" infrastructure.
Terrestrial broadcasters have a long history of investing in robust “Emergency Ready” infrastructure such as backup power generators and redundant equipment facilities. Just part of the reason radio can be counted on during natural disasters, unlike cellular delivered services.
NPR - Collaborative System Diagram
Some Talking Points
Only one downlink required per market
Efficient use of satellite data due to message filtering
Another source of data for existing EAS ENDEC
Federal Agencies - Originate Alerts
Quu Portal - Stations define the Zip/Fips codes within their coverage area, and select which Alerts they wish to subscribe to
Quu Portal filters all messages, only forwarding messages for participating markets
On-Air Sequence of Events
At Federal Agency:
Alert is generated
At StayAlert Server:
Alert is received nationwide via satellite data network
Valid Alerts are pushed into Satellite Up-link
At Primary station:
Quu Multipoint device receives Alerts
Alert is broadcast on RDS/HD Radios
Alert is invisibly pushed to Secondary stations
At Secondary Station(s):
Quu Multipoint receiver monitors local stations looking for StayAlert "Beacon"
Multipoint receiver locks on Beacon and listens for Alerts
When Alerts are received, they are broadcast on RDS & HD Radio text displays
Jump2Go: Online alert aggregation system (Java) hosted on AWS, Officially authorized by the U.S. Department of Justice to access Amber Alert data, EAS & NWS/NOAA database access.
Rich Rarey: Former Director of NPR Laboratories wrote the alert aggregation code and is well connected in and around DC bureaucratic circles including Homeland Security/FEMA.
Sam Brown: Also worked at NPR, Sam coordinated station engineers participation in the original NPR Labs/FEMA project.
Tasks - Division of Labor
U/I for stations to define which Zip & FIPS codes apply to their stations
Message Filtering to determine which markets receive specific messages
Complete EAS/NWS/Amber data collection, indexing for Zips/FIPS & assign a unique ID to it.
Primary location - Receive Alerts from Satellite receiver, query back-end to see if Alert is relevant.
Write message to OMB "Message Text file" RT will see it and push it to RDS Encoder ODA
RT will erase file
Our History with Alerting