The ARRL North Texas Section and the DFW Metroplex Traffic Net will hold an emergency communications exercise on Saturday November 7. This exercise will simulate a cellular network outage and a request from government officials for reports from amateur radio volunteers to help monitor the situation.
For this exercise, a simulated Emergency Operations Center will ask for cellular network connectivity reports from across the Metroplex to help gauge the scope of impact during a simulated cellular network service outage in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Exercise participants will provide this information using the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS), a network of amateur radio operators who move information during disasters and other emergencies. As information is reported via the NTS, an online dashboard will update in real time to demonstrate data collection and reporting capabilities.
Aaron Hulett (K8AMH), Section Traffic Manager for the ARRL North Texas Section, is excited about this exercise. “The National Traffic System provides a critical communications service,” he said, “and while this system runs every day, 365 days a year, an exercise that simulates a real-world event helps us further test the system and make refinements.”
Amateur radio operators are known for volunteering during major events to provide communications and critical details, such as providing the National Weather Service real-time severe weather observations that cannot be seen by radar.
“Whether relaying information critical to saving lives or property, inquiries about the health or welfare of a disaster victim, or other important information, amateur radio operators volunteering in the NTS and other programs help ensure communications go through when other services are not working or have limited availability,” said Hulett.
The exercise will take place on the Irving Amateur Radio Club’s WA5CKF repeaters on Saturday November 7 from 10 am to 2 pm and is open to currently licensed amateur radio operators. Those interested in learning more about or participating in the exercise can find information online at https://www.dfwtrafficnet.org/2020-functional-exercise/.
About the ARRL North Texas Section
The ARRL North Texas Section is one of 71 administrative sections of the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio in the US. Founded in 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim as The American Radio Relay League, ARRL is a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs. ARRL numbers within its ranks the vast majority of active radio amateurs in the nation and has a proud history of achievement as the standard-bearer in amateur affairs. ARRL’s underpinnings as Amateur Radio’s witness, partner and forum are defined by five pillars: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology, and Membership. For more information visit https://www.arrlntx.org.
About the DFW Metroplex Traffic Net
The DFW Metroplex Traffic Net is an affiliate of the ARRL’s National Traffic System, focusing on traffic moving into and out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It operates two traffic nets daily and relays on average over 200 messages each month that are addressed to recipients in and around the Metroplex, other areas of Texas and the United States, and internationally including Canada, Great Britain, and Germany. For more information visit https://www.dfwtrafficnet.org.