The Funchal City Council (CMF) has announced that they are to install a new radio communications system at the Parque Ecológico do Funchal. This new system will enable the various teams working within the park to communicate effectively with each other, something that is currently not always possible due to ‘morphological’ difficulties that interfere with mobile phone networks.
The vice-president of the Municipality, Idalina Perestrelo, who oversees the islands environmental security, stated that installation of this new equipment will improve both communication and security within the municipality for its workers, especially for those undertaking forestry tasks. This, he said, is an important step to ensure that the transmission and receipt of messages between individual work teams is effective and not degraded by network unpredictability, noise or interference, even if teams are working in areas which mobile network dead areas, such as in forested areas and deep valleys.
The radio network will have all the infrastructure and equipment necessary for its operation including repeaters, portable radios, base stations, wind turbines, omnidirectional antennas, mobile radio antennas, solar panels, geographic location systems and management software. In addition, a repeater and other essential equipment will be installed at Pico Alto to guarantee an independent energy supply, should the power grid fail. This will also serve to support other existing equipment at the site, namely the Funchal Weather Station of the city, which is used by the IPMA – Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere, while the Wi-Fi radio equipment provides access to the internet and telephone network for Parque Ecológico do Funchal employees.
The CMF currently has a radio network in operation which is used by some municipal services, and was one of the few regional communication systems that remained operational during the floods of 2010 and supported search and rescue teams and the population in general. This network will now be replaced by a more efficient and technologically more advanced system.
Idalina Perestrelo added that these networks are advantageous to the populations we serve and defend within the municipality of Funchal. In a catastrophe scenario radio communication systems are more reliable than the mobile network due to their simplicity and availability and for the Parque Ecológico do Funchal, now that we have entered the summer and fire season, it will be central to the active surveillance of the municipal forest area.
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