[sbe-eas] National RMT relay instead of EAN testing
felucia at att.net
Wed Nov 23 17:51:50 EST 2011
The EAN through the PEP stations was designed as a Last Resort system. It seemed to perform ok in the first national test with the assistance of NPR to fill some gaps in coverage.
Every station and cable system conducts an RMT every month. Some originate from EOCs, some from key EAS stations. All records are available in electronic or paper form.
A report from each state about these RMTs would show how well the RMTs have worked.
Also PEP RWT records should show if the key EAS entry points in each state are receiving the PEPs regularly. And the records show receipt and transmission of EAS warnings as well.
The point is that there are many records out there that show who gets what from whom and when. Maybe an effort is needed to collect and review these records.
--- On Wed, 11/23/11, Sean Donelan <sean at donelan.com> wrote:
From: Sean Donelan <sean at donelan.com>
Subject: Re: [sbe-eas] National RMT relay instead of EAN testing
To: "SBE EAS Exchange - a mail list for discussion about the Emergency Alert System and other emergency communication issues." <sbe-eas at sbe.org>
Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 4:40 PM
On Wed, 23 Nov 2011, Alan Alsobrook wrote:
>> Dave – in hindsight, I agree with you that an RMT would have sufficed for testing the relay, but the folks running the test were ordered to curtail the message length at the 11^th hour. But as far as using a RMT nationally in the future, I suggested in a trade mag that a next step to be considered could be an RMT, especially if they want to run another test of the relay before June 30^th .
> I've also made this statement, the one thing to make it properly confirm that the bugs have been worked out would be to have all the PEP stations relay the RMT without any delay. That would simulate the "Live" transmission of a EAN. Stations further down the system could relay as normal without affecting the results.
> To prevent undesired RMT's from getting the immediate relay, they would need a separate filter that would only allow an RMT with an originator code of PEP to get the immediate relay.
A RMT event code still has a limit of 31 location codes, and no national location code. So you would need to run multiple RMTs to cover the entire country, with oddball situations such as NPR's squawk feed resulting in regions getting multiple tests; or get everyone to re-program their EAS boxes to include Washington DC FIPS code, with oddball situations for other local Washington DC events leaking nation-wide, or other weird things that no one expects. The FIPS processing would need to be change throughthe entire daisy-chain. Not all encoder/decoders have the same filtering capabilities.
Only EAN and EAT were specified with similar forwarding rules, that most
legacy encoder/decoders are likely to support.
Re-defining EAT as an "emergency action test" would be compatible with legacy forwarding rules, except some hardware can't change the text translation. The action of resuming normal operations would still be appropriate after either a test or terminating EAS operations.
But even then, its not a certainty another store/forward event code would
have exposed the same issues of audio feedback with a nation-wide "live" EAN audio test. The PEP stations have been conducting closed circuit testing for decades without it happening. Even after lab tests, closed circuit tests, tests in Alaska and Nevada, the nation-wide EAN test still revealed new issues.
Its almost a certainty the next test, if there is one, will also reveal some problem no one has predicted today. Are you just delaying the inevitable by asking for more partial tests? EAS started in 1997.
President Bush signed the order in 2006 for a national test. No matter how much testing you do, and there was a lot of advance testing, as long as the EAN event code has "special" properties you are going to have to test the EAN live code itself end-to-end across the country. You want
to test the alarm before an emergency, not find out about the problems during an emergency.
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