Hurricane Katrina Aftermath; Time to Launch Balloon Cell Towers

One of the most critical infrastructures for restoring order to a catastrophic disaster is that of communication. Communication is necessary for those in need to call in their needs and to alert authorities of growing problems. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina there is no cell phone use and those who have cell phones cannot use them because the towers are down, the power to the towers are down and by now anyone with a cell phone has dead batteries with no way to recharge them. Most cars are submerged and/or were submerged and you cannot start them or use the batteries to charge through the cigarette lighter adapters.

But those who have not discharged their cell phones or have 3G wireless phones with new technologies and lower use of batteries still have a chance. If even one cell tower is up and they are within range they have a chance of getting through, but each time the system is busy they use up more of their batteries. If they do get through they might be disconnected due to spotty service and distance from tower; you know the joke; “Can you here me now?”

Luckily we have technology now to improve cell service via mobile command units with cell tower repeaters and expandable giant beach ball shaped balloons, which are cell towers in the sky. Unfortunately it is tough for those communication command centers to get into the area. One idea is to put one on top of the Interstate Over Pass Interchange using a Giant Sikorsky Helicopter. They will have situational awareness and be able to have a direct line of site communication station. The other location should a top one of the largest building in New Orleans, which has back up power systems or put the Command Center on top with its own power source.

The communication station in the sky is a good idea and one of the best ways to insure communication and it is somewhat of a new technology, you can learn more here:


Using a balloon or blimp with cellular phone equipment you can immediately restore power and information flows. Communication is the key to real time information to help those with real needs and connect the unconnected. If we tethered the balloon to one of the largest buildings we should be able to have cell service to get information from the battlespace and Soup Bowl Death Zone. Think on this for future disasters.

Dell PowerEdge Tower Servers Provide a Dependable Networking Base

The x86 architecture is exclusive to Dell PowerEdge products. Earlier tower server versions were built around the Itanium processor from Intel, but Dell quit including Itanium technology in 2005 due to minimal market demand. Intel processors remained to be the sole processor for approximately another year. In 2006 Dell PowerEdge tower servers began implementing AMD Opteron processors, because the chip set consistency allowed for the use of common driver sets. Original equipment manufacturers and value-added resellers offer this hardware with many customization options.

Dell continues to increase both device functionality and power, in addition to offering provider solutions in conjunction with this supplied hardware. The goal of the providers is to help businesses achieve an all-around solution with the right implementation of hardware and service.

Dell Servers: Continuous Evolution Brings Many Choices to the Table

These particular Dell servers all include standard components with a few additional perks. PowerEdge towers contain a RAID controller that provides superior data protection, and enables the controller to fix bad RAID sectors among other items. Eleven generations have provided continuous improvements to businesses preferring these products.

When the tenth generation models were created, Dell’s naming convention changed. Products are now named with a code consisting of four characters. A letter signifying server type is accompanied by three numbers, indicating the socket count, hardware generation, and the CPU make. Servers may be labeled with a T (Tower), M (Modular), or R (Rack). The number of available sockets ranges between one, two, and four. Generation ten is represented by a zero, while generation eleven can be identified with a one. Processor identification can be in the form of a zero or five, with five representing the AMD line, while those containing Intel processors are represented with zero.

Multiple Dell server designs are available to the business sector today. Each is designed for high performance operations and offers Dual-Core processing capabilities. Additional features include hardware virtualization technology, large storage capacity, added network capability, and improved scalability. Dell storage products focus on future growth as well as currently needed storing capacity. Servers are the beginning point for any business. As data size increases, direct or network storage devices can be included for additional space accessible by clients.

Storage focuses on three specific business growth items: capacity expansion, file sharing, and storage consolidations. Hardware is being continually developed to improve on these focus areas, and is available through multiple reputable providers. Dell creates innovative hardware products designed to meet the demands of business consumers.

Dell PowerEdge tower servers are an initial storage device a business uses for network resource management. Additional storage devices can be added as the need for expansion becomes present, and may be used to manage printer or databases. Setup is normally dedicated to one process or a set of processes. A multiprocessing operating system may be used to allow many programs to execute at the same time. With multiple generational models available and two CPU choices, Dell makes it easy for any business to find what they need. Customization services make server setup convenient for businesses of all sizes.

AM Tower Collocation Introduction

AM radio broadcast towers are rapidly becoming the new “hot topic” in the wireless communications industry. The name of the game today for wireless carriers and tower owners alike is “colocation, collocation, co-location” on existing structures. To date, this has not necessarily included attachment to an existing AM radio broadcast tower, even though there are an estimated 10,000 AM towers in existence in the United States. In many locales, new site opportunities are becoming stressed, leaving AM towers as strategic, or often, the only possible locations for new site opportunities. Even where open sites exist for new towers, local zoning and planning authorities often require that all collocation options be exhausted before “Greenfield” towers are permitted.

This places AM tower owners directly in the path of economic opportunity. How much opportunity? In many locations, cellular and PCS antenna locations rent for about $2500 per month. If four tenants can be attracted to an AM tower, that’s potentially a $10,000 per month revenue stream. Even better, the wireless carriers typically pick up the costs of tower modification and on-going maintenance!

To tap this pot of gold, it’s important to understand how AM tower collocation works from a carrier perspective, and what you, the AM broadcaster, must consider to present a viable site opportunity to the wireless industry.

Why Not AM Tower Collocation?

Historically, the wireless industry has been warned to stay clear of AM radio stations at all costs. This not only had to do with attaching to them, but also with reference to locating nearby and interfering with their broadcast patterns. Indeed, wireless carriers must prove to the Federal Communications Commission that they have considered and corrected all such problems when constructing or modifying any tower within three kilometers of an AM station. This has left underserved “holes” around many AM’s, often in prime suburban areas.

In the past, AM towers were considered unsuitable for antenna attachment by most cellular and PCS wireless carriers due to presumed grounding difficulties, interference and safety considerations. Coordinating construction between the vastly different AM and wireless cultures was frequently a slow and painful process. From an engineering perspective the process of integration and demonstrating license compliance to the FCC often required tinkering, delays and costs unacceptable to wireless carriers and broadcasters alike. AM station owners have also wanted assurance that the tower collocation methods proposed by the wireless operator were reliable, proven, and acceptable to the FCC and would not harm their signal coverage pattern. In the past, these outcomes could not be readily or easily assured. Many wireless system designers, and AM tower owners themselves, are yet unaware that new technologies are now available to solve these problems and efficiently integrate wireless and AM systems at reasonable costs.

In the AM band, the tower itself is the radiating element without a need for attached antennas. However, wireless antennas and coaxial cables are self-contained systems that merely attach to their support structures. Achieving compatibility with the AM tower through electrical integration or isolation of wireless antennas is a challenging engineering exercise. Since AM broadcasting is a specialized field, many wireless system designers and constructors, not being conversant with lower frequency technology, have been unaware of the techniques available to make wireless compatible with AM. Few broadcast engineers and consultants have experience in tower collocation, except for the odd STL or FM standby antenna. Thus, many potential AM tower collocations have been avoided as technically impossible or prohibitively expensive. Sometimes large additional costs have even been incurred for detuning the resulting new tower near the avoided AM station!

The solution to these problems is actually straightforward in most cases, and can be readily implemented at reasonable cost by using a qualified consultant and the latest hardware solutions.