ATSC 3.0 and Advanced Emergency Alerts

As we always experience in a catastrophe, cell phone coverage is spotty at least, even down (hurricanes) or not fast enough (earthquakes).
As an example, the day after Hurricane Irma in 2017, 41-60% of cell sites in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach DMAs were out-of-service. However, only one full power TV station out of 96 were off-air.

Hurricane Harvey was similarly devastating. This video shows how for example PBS stations are crucial for our first responders.

The AEA (Advanced Emergency Alerting) functionality of ATSC 3.0 will provide rich media such as live video updates, escape route maps, images and other detailed location-based information. Yes, ATSC 3.0 will allow broadcasters to geo-target citizens and of course first responders. 

One of the key components of AEA is the "Wake-Up" field. I am getting a little geeky here....The very first thing an ATSC 3.0 receiver will look for is the Bootstrap. This is almost like a carrier in a wave form and is the most robust part of the transmission. The "Wake-up" filed is part of the Bootstrap and consists of 2 bits (4 states):
This will allow receivers in stand-by mode to monitor for alerts and use very little battery (if a cellphone) while authorities will have the ability to prioritize emergencies.

At the NAB 2018 show, the ATSC AEA I-Team demonstrated an end to end implementation:

ATSC 3.0 AEA will supplement the the existing EAS systems but NOT replace it.

Check out some other great samples on the AWARN site:


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