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GSS Says Study Supports RBDS Approach

Northrop Grumann did FEMA-funded demos

GSS says its FM RBDS-based alerting system is viable for distributing FEMA/IPAWS alerts; and now the company has the results of a study — funded by the government — to support its pitch.

Global Security Systems said the research by Northrop Grumann Corp., paid for with $2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “confirms the effectiveness of FM radio-based alerts and warnings provided by Alert FM.” That GSS system uses RBDS FM-subcarrier technology to deliver texts to electronic devices that have Alert FM software and an enabled FM radio receiver chip. Several state broadcast associations and radio groups currently support Alert FM, and the company hopes to expand its use.

GSS says the study included working demos of the system over a three-month period at a college campus, in four counties spread across two states and over a larger region. Two other of Northrop’s “vendor partners,” AlertUs Technology and Metis Secure, also participated in the study.

According to the company, “The structured live demonstrations tested the effectiveness of Alert FM by activating receivers; adhering to Common Alerting Protocol requirements; implementing geo-targeting exercises; and executing an all-clear wrap. Following the operational test, the study surveyed alert originators and radio broadcasters.”

According to GSS, Mark Lucero, program manager for IPAWS at FEMA, said the study “showed that FM RBDS is a viable communications technology at the state and local emergency manager level for disseminating emergency information.”

The manufacturer also snagged a supportive comment for its announcement from Gordon Smith, president/CEO of the NAB, who told the company, “The targeted alerting services that utilize the RBDS FM subcarrier technology enhance public safety because of the ubiquitous nature of FM radio.”

GSS provided a synopsis of the study, which includes info about where and how the tests were done.

Global Security Systems Cites FEMA Contract” (Dec. 2009)