Anritsu Powers American Red Cross' Disaster Communications Network

4/2/2003 - The American Red Cross, Oregon Trail Chapter is using Anritsu Company's S114 Site Master cable and antenna analyzer to help maintain the chapter's disaster communications network. Combining ease of use and accurate signal analysis capabilities, the S114 is ensuring the performance of the network, which is critical to the chapter's Disaster Communications Center's ability to effectively respond to disasters and provide aid to communities and victims.

The successful operation of the disaster communications network is essential to the Oregon Trail Chapter, whose disaster volunteers respond to a fire every 32 hours. The volunteers also respond to other natural and man-made catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents, and explosions. In fact, the Oregon Trail Chapter is the lead unit for disaster relief operation throughout Oregon and provides communications services and trained volunteers throughout the United States as part of the Red Cross' Disaster Responder Program (DSHR).

Because of the highly critical nature in which the network is used, the Red Cross chapter needed a reliable, extremely accurate test solution. Additionally, it had to be easy to operate due to the volunteer nature of the organization. For James Gadsby, the Emergency Services Communication Volunteer responsible for selecting the test instrument, those criteria meant there could only be one choice.

"When I needed a versatile cable and antenna analyzer for the American Red Cross, Oregon Trail Chapter, I wanted the Anritsu Site Master," said Gadsby. "In my professional experience, I have enjoyed the use and capabilities of a Site Master for troubleshooting complex wireless PCS RF cable and antenna problems. No other piece of portable test equipment beats the Site Master for providing quick and accurate results."

Anritsu was only too willing to help. "Anritsu Company is committed to supporting organizations who provide vital services to our communities. The American Red Cross has been the benchmark for relief efforts for nearly 100 years. When they came to us and asked for our assistance, we didn't hesitate," said Frank Tiernan, general manager of Anritsu's Microwave Measurements Division.

The Oregon Trail Chapter's Disaster Communications is equipped with a variety of commercial and amateur radio equipment to provide local, regional, and cross-country disaster communications. Additionally, most of the chapter's vehicles are equipped with radios. Due to wet weather, as well as the age of the cables and antennas, reliability problems have begun to surface. Existing test equipment used by the chapter is incapable of locating the causes of the problems.

Providing spectrum analysis, return loss, SWR, and distance-to-fault (DTF) capabilities up to 1.6 GHz, the S114 is the perfect solution for the Oregon Trail Chapter's needs. It will allow volunteers to easily identify and solve RF system problems such as coverage, interference, and other path-related signal problems.

About Anritsu Company
Founded more than a century ago, Anritsu Corporation is one of the world's largest providers of technology solutions, employing 4,000 professionals in 18 countries. Named one of Business Week's InfoTech 100 top information technology companies, Anritsu has four divisions that address communications test and measurement, network solutions, components and devices, and industrial automation. The Measurement Solutions group provides tools for the analysis of wired and wireless technologies, including fiber, microwaves/RF, optical, and digital mobile radio. Anritsu's North and South American operations are headquartered in Richardson,TX. For more information, call 1-800-ANRITSU or visit us on the Web at

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