alpha Personal Network
A new electronic personal monitoring and alarm system can also be enhanced with telemetric capability:
The alphaSCOUT personal monitor and alarm is the central element of the optional alpha personal network. Since it is wireless and completely detached from the SCBA, the alphaSCOUT is always at hand. The wireless and fully disengaged alphaSCOUT is the next generation of ICU [Integrated Control Unit]. It receives pressure information from the transmitter on the back plate and then calculates the remaining service time. A motion detector and alarm signal are also integrated.
In addition to the shortrange signal transfer with the backplate transmitter alphaMITTER, it can communicate with an incident command base station by using a separate long-range signal. This gives it full telemetric capability. The base station automatically monitors all operative personnel so that at the first signs of trouble incident command can send help in. An evacuation signal can also be sent to operation teams or the entire crew. In shielded environments a second alphaSCOUT works as a repeater so that the signal can be extended even further.
The newest system component is the wireless Head-Up-Display alphaHUD, which is easily attached to the inside of a Ultra Elite mask. It provides pressure status, alarm information on low battery, pressure and evacuation at the edge of field of vision – hands free.
In order to ensure a constant, non-distracting readability the LEDs glow for two seconds and then gradually dim for eight seconds before glowing again. They adjust automatically to ambient lighting conditions. A blinking alarm signal called “buddy light” is also visible externally when air pressure drops to a dangerous level.
The alphaMITTER, a short-range transmitter on the SCBA back plate sends air pressure data to the alphaSCOUT or alphaHUD every two seconds.
Because the wireless alphaSCOUT and alphaHUD are independent of the back plate, the number of units needed by a brigade can be reduced by up to 75% – a dramatic saving in investment.
alphaBASE is the standard receiver which works in combination with any PC. An external aerial with magnetic foot can optionally be used for vehicle mounted applications.
A battery-powered version of the alphaBASE as well as the alphaBASE standard can be used with the xplore TABLET PC.
The combination battery-powered alphaBASE and xplore TABLET PC give full freedom of movement. The xplore TABLET PC with its high computational power and its compact design is the ultimate tool for managing information during an incident. The housing is robust and is tested according to IP67 [watertight]. With the high resolution screen xplore TABLET PC is usable in all lighting conditions, including direct sunlight.
Each user can identify himself with the alphaSCOUT he is using through the alphaTAG identification tag. Individual alphaTAGs are programmed by the alphaTAG writer, using a convenient PC software module. This allows personnel to share alphaSCOUTs and results in a major reduction in equipment costs.
MSA’s own and unique alphaCONTROL 2 monitoring software runs automatically without operator intervention. Complete incident data is automatically logged and analysed. One of the new features include centralised monitoring of multiple alphaBASEs linked via wireless LAN. Even without telemetry, the alphaCONTROL 2 software can as well be used as a substitute for conventional tally boards.
Used in conjunction with the alpha Personal Network, the ALTAIR 5X with W-LAN option can monitor operative personnel using breathing apparatus and portable gas detection equipment while sending information to alphaBASE. All gas readings and alarms can be seen by incident command monitoring personnel in real time.