Harris Corporation Ensures Continuity of Service for FAA Communications During Active 2008 Hurricane Season
Mobile Satellite Communications Systems Provide Services On-demand
MELBOURNE, FL — Dedicated teams of Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) employees provided emergency support during the past three months to ensure the integrity of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) telecommunications network in the face of four hurricanes and a severe tropical storm.
Harris is the prime contractor and system architect for the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) program, one of the largest government telecommunications initiatives ever undertaken. The network ensures the efficient, secure and reliable transmission of voice, data, radar, weather and other information critical to the operation of the National Airspace System.
When key FAA communications facilities were in the paths of hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike this summer, Harris worked closely with the FAA to deploy and stage mobile satellite communications systems that provided on-demand communications capabilities as a safeguard against damage to the commercial telecommunications infrastructure that air traffic control facilities normally rely upon.
One such satellite system — called a “Fly Away” for its portability — is currently operating on Galveston Island, which was devastated by Hurricane Ike. The system was delivered, set up, and operating within 24 hours of the FAA’s request for assistance despite the challenges of gaining access to the island and lack of all essential utility services after the storm.
Throughout the hurricane season, other portable systems were staged in Atlanta, Georgia; Pensacola, Florida; Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama; Houston, Texas; and Slidell and Grand Isle, Louisiana. The Harris FTI satellite system on Grand Turk Island, part of the FAA Southern Caribbean Region, continued operating in the face of Ike’s 145-mph winds.
The FTI Primary Network Operations and Control Center (PNOCC) in Melbourne, Florida, is essential to monitoring and managing FAA air traffic control operations nationwide. When Tropical Storm Fay impacted the area in August, Harris employees worked double shifts and stayed at the control center through the night to ensure that the network stayed up and running during the very slow-moving storm, which caused serious flooding. Harris also maintains a back-up PNOCC in Chantilly, Virginia, where operations would be transitioned if a Category 3 or stronger hurricane threatens to strike Melbourne.
“The Harris FTI team anticipated the communications needs of the FAA customer during this very busy 2008 hurricane season and minimized impacts to the traveling public,” said John O’Sullivan, vice president of FAA programs for Harris Civil Programs. “Being responsible for the continuous operation and management of the FAA’s nationwide network is something we take very seriously at Harris and our FTI team is prepared to provide this kind of quick-react support throughout the storm season.”
The Harris Civil Programs business provides precise, highly reliable, high-speed communications and information networks that improve productivity and information processing for federal agencies of the U.S. government, including the FAA, Census Bureau, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and the Government Printing Office.
About Harris Corporation
Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual revenue of $5.3 billion and 16,500 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications®; products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.
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