Harris Works to Restore Haitian Communications

February 5, 2010

Florida Today has been running a series of articles describing the work Harris Corporation volunteers are providing to restore communications in Haiti. Last week the Melbourne, Fla. company sent eight volunteers, 300 handheld radios, and seven satellite Internet and telephone systems to Haiti.

One of the systems is being used to provide the Federal Aviation Administration with a more efficient satellite Internet connection for accessing its air traffic control network in the United States. Harris has donated about $1 million worth of electronic equipment to the relief effort.

In his Day Two report, Sleighton Meyer, Harris senior manager, said dropping into Port au Prince was like entering a war zone, with it taking 90 minutes to make the 10 mile drive from the airport to Port au Prince. Day 3 Report describes moving equipment from the airport into Haiti and setting up "Camp Harris" at the CHF International Headquarters. (CHF is an international development and humanitarian aid organization.)

The last report I saw was for Day 4.

"Adapt and improvise turned out to be the words of the day Monday as the Harris team tackled the installations of various communications and information systems for our host aid organization, CHF International," said Meyer. "With the support of program manager, Dave Balser from home base in Melbourne, the team persevered through an assortment of setbacks, including missing connectors and cables, and a broken antenna mast to make tremendous progress on three fronts."

The report describes the installation of a land mobile radio system and antenna at CHF headquarters.

Meyer's reports provide a glimpse into the Haiti recovery effort you won't see on TV--engineers working to get communications systems working to support the greater recovery effort. You should be able to locate future articles by visiting the Florida Today Web site and entering "Harris" in the search box in the upper right. The articles have pictures of the Harris team at work in Haiti.

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