Show Details for the 2014 National Hurricane Conference

2014 National Hurricane Conference – Show Recap

In Orlando, Florida last week, hundreds of people from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and other countries turned out for the 2014 National Hurricane Conference. Each year, the convention is held for industry professionals to discuss the best ways to mitigate hurricane damage while improving disaster recovery and emergency response times during the aftermath of these major storms.

“While Disaster Recovery Journal’s Spring World a few weeks ago was focused on resiliency and preparation, the NHC focused on rebuilding in the aftermath of a disaster,” recalls Skycasters Director of Sales and Marketing, James “Skip” Anderson. “We were approached by companies ranging from mobile hospital groups to insurance companies who need portable internet access to process claims on-site after a disaster.”

Unlike similar gatherings for many other industries, NHC attendees generally have a basic understanding of VSAT technology, satellite internet, and backup communications systems. Government agencies and private organizations have had years to develop disaster response plans and companies have been able to tailor custom solutions for emergency situations and natural disasters. According to Anderson, many professionals attend these shows specifically to speak with satellite internet companies like Skycasters regarding specific needs where no solution currently exists.

Anderson and Skycasters Network Engineer Tom Reed exhibited at the show last week with some of our newest technology. The 1.8 MST, or mobile satellite trailer, continues to generate a lot of attention. Anderson also appeared on local news to discuss the National Hurricane Conference and some of Skycasters’ disaster response strategies and the new mobile antenna.

This 1.8-meter mobile satellite dish is ideal for disaster response efforts in the aftermath of major weather events. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding can damage the existing communications infrastructure and keep people without power and internet access for weeks. When first responders arrive on the scene, they need to be able to communicate and coordinate efforts with other first responders. Having a reliable connection to get online is essential. Skycasters’ 1.8m MST was specifically designed to provide high speeds and reliable service where other options might not exist.

Skycasters looks forward to attending future shows and presenting our cost-effective solutions for businesses and organizations in remote communications, oil and gas mining, and disaster response.


Announcing the 1.8-Meter MST

Skycasters Announces the 1.8-Meter Mobile Satellite Trailer (MST)

Exciting things are happening here at Skycasters. Today, we have the pleasure of making a major announcement to our current customers, prospects, and curious consumers.

Jerry Piland, head of Research and Development at Skycasters, has been spending a lot of time working on a new solution to address challenges we often see in the field. Inaccessible oil rigs, distant mining camps, telemedicine, and first responders to natural disasters often rely on satellite internet services. It is our mission to ensure they stay connected and online.

As such, the Mobile Satellite Trailer, or MST, is one of our most popular technologies. This durable dish on wheels can be attached to a trailer hitch and hauled just about anywhere for portable internet access. Typically, our MSTs have a 1.2-Meter antenna and on-board Wi-Fi adapters to help businesses in oil and gas communications and disaster recovery keep a connection when they need it most. However, it just might not be the best choice for some of the worst-case situations.

Today, we announce the 1.8-Meter MST which features a variety of improvements from our smaller model. With a larger dish, the 1.8 MST has a better chance of getting a clear connection on whichever satellite you’re using, even during heavy rain fades that might knock other customers out of the network. This trailer also has a host of other advancements, including:

  • An extended run gas tank system for a 2000-Watt Honda Generator.
  • Electronics insulated against harsh hot and cold weather conditions.
  • 1000 BTU, closed-loop air conditioner and 350-Watt, built-in heater.
  • Two axial fans mounted to provide maximum cooling to the server rack.
  • A removable aluminum frame with two polycarbonate lids provides quick, efficient, and safe access to the inner electronics whenever you need to get to them.
  • Additional storage space complete with fire extinguisher, tool bag, and LED light bags.
  • A portable and collapsible LED light pole can make the trailer easier to modify in the field.
  • A three-section Turtle Shell Cover with lockable latches protects the dish during transit.

While our other MSTs are certainly a feat of engineering, the 1.8 is truly a triumph! With the larger dish, customers can get increased throughput and CIR service levels during bad weather. Modifications like these are essential in some industries to keep the internet running during emergency conditions or on-site at remote mining camps.

One of the best things about this announcement is that all of the new bells and whistles available for the 1.8 MST are now available for the 1.2-Meter trailer. A more technical press release for the 1.8 MST can be found here. For more information, contact your sales representative, email us any time at sales@skycasters.com, or simply call us at 1-800-268-8653 Monday through Friday 9:00 am – 6:00pm Eastern.

Go anywhere. Get online. Stay connected. Skycasters.


National Hurricane Conference 2014

Skycasters to Showcase New Mobile Satellite Trailer

at National Hurricane Conference in Orlando

Skycasters is pleased to announce that we will be attending the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Florida next week from April 14th to April 17th. Curious attendants will be able to visit our booth and talk to specialists from both Sales and Marketing and our Engineering departments about the exciting new technology and plans we offer for disaster response and back-up satellite internet.

As core segments of our business, Skycasters is always interested in enhancing disaster recovery plans and networking with individuals in businesses, government agencies, hospitals, and the telemedicine industry. With fewer points of failure, satellite internet is also generally more reliable during emergencies.

The National Hurricane Conference offers an important opportunity for Skycasters to meet and brainstorm with experts in the industry so we can learn to predict what technologies might be valuable before they become a necessity. One such offering is our brand new 1.8-Meter Mobile Satellite Trailer, or MST.

First exhibited last week at Disaster Recovery Journal’s DRJ Spring World 2014, the 1.8 MST has already generated a lot of interest. In emergency situations, first responders and federal organizations like FEMA may need to set up a mobile command center with internet access when the telephone and power lines have been damaged.

“The self-pointing antenna on the Skycasters MST makes deployment quick and easy even for users with little or no technical background,” commented James ‘Skip’ Anderson, Skycasters’ Director of Sales and Marketing. “Upon arriving on site responders can deploy the MST and have internet access within 10 minutes.  This rapid deployment allows responders to begin using the internet communications while working on other critical, life-saving missions.”

Anderson and Skycasters Network Engineer Tom Reed will be on hand during this year’s 2014 National Hurricane Conference. While there, they will be running regular demonstrations of the 1.8 MST, presenting informational videos on loop, and speaking with show attendees about satellite internet solutions and disaster recovery plans.

Hurricanes, earth quakes, floods, and other natural disasters are just a part of life, but it pays to be prepared. If your company or organization doesn’t have a back-up internet connection or disaster recovery plan, stop by and talk to us next week in at the Hilton in Orlando. We are always working to make data more disaster-proof.


SATELLITE 2014 Conference

Thousands convened at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. for the SATELLITE 2014 Conference. Spanning March 10–13, the premier annual event provided unmatched networking opportunities for its attendees, which included a mix of executives, military officials, network engineers, and broadcasters from around the globe.

Representing Skycasters in the crowd of satellite communication professionals were Richard McKinney and James Anderson from the Sales team, who teamed up with Senior Network Engineer, Kelly Olsen.

“The first day of SATTELLITE 2014 was overwhelming,” Anderson said, in response to the large scale of the event.

After settling in, McKinney and Anderson began Day 2 with the goal of seeking out companies that want to partner with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) with the intent of expanding Skycasters’ sales avenues. The entire team also had the opportunity to link up with a few existing partners along the way.

As one of the biggest shows of the year, it’s not just about finding business. Skycasters is always looking to help provide solutions for customers and businesses frustrated with their traditional communications failing. The company offers a variety of satellite services for disaster recovery, the oil and gas industry, and other scenarios where the options are rather limited. The show also gives Skycasters personnel a chance to interact with the companies like iDirect which we rely on to keep our technology delivering high-quality internet service.

“We were able to meet with iDirect to discuss upcoming products and services. We also spoke with people from Telesat and IsoTropic Networks.”

Telesat, owner and operator of a communications satellite used by Skycasters, shared how there will soon be a way to extend the life of satellites by sending manned space flights to repair and possibly re-fuel older units. This would be extremely helpful to ISPs in maintaining cost-effective services for customers. Announcements like these are one of the biggest reasons we like to attend these shows.

The conference introduced new technology that will help Skycasters become even more efficient. Although still a way off from mainstream availability, the team learned of some exciting advances regarding the transmission of data compression (excluding video). This would improve bandwidth and maximize “actual” throughput by helping to isolate it from compressed data amounts.

Skycasters will continue striving to be a leading provider of broadband satellite Internet. Our people are always seeking out the newest and most reliable innovations in the industry. Events such as SATELLITE 2014 provide excellent opportunities for establishing and maintaining this standard.

“It was interesting to see various solutions, so when a customer comes to us with something out of the ordinary we have the resources to solve the problem by using different reflectors, bigger BUCs or other equipment, Anderson said.