NJ Pubcasters Trial Triveni Alert System

New Jersey's State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recently tested an emergency messaging system using NJN Public TV's digital broadcast signal. The test used Triveni Digital's SkyScraper datacasting platform to broadcast the signals to desktop PCs equipped with DTV receiver cards, digital receiver software and consumer grade antennae.

The ongoing project--involving the sending of emergency management data to OEM sites located within the Emergency Planning Zone around the Oyster Creek nuclear plant--marks the first time DTV signals have been used to enhance emergency preparedness around nuclear facilities. Ocean County and Lacey Township Emergency Operation Centers were the designated test facilities.

NJ state officials hailed the test as a success, touting the robust nature of the DTV signal to help emergency officials communicate with the public in case of emergencies.

"The capability that this technology provides assures us the ability to provide secured, encrypted information to multiple locations during times of emergency," said Acting Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. "Additionally, the multi-channel options offered by this technology allow us to also provide general information to the public, health care professionals and various public and private sectors."

Content can include up-to-date traffic flow information and road closures, aerial photos/videos of New Jersey, OEM public information and more. The use of DTV signals to broadcast the information has advantages over using cellular or IP, technologies that could be disrupted or overloaded during an emergency.

Based on open standards, Triveni Digital's SkyScraper datacasting system supports a range of encoders, multiplexers and data encapsulators. It is composed of a "DataFab," which collects and manages data content, scheduling and access; a "DataHub," which allocates bandwidth and inserts data into the broadcast stream; and a "DataReceiver," which extracts data from the broadcast stream for the end user.