Friday 11 February 2022

THOR - Verizon's Disaster Response COW

When we wrote about how Verizon uses satellite connectivity to restore services after hurricanes, someone made us aware of THOR, the Verizon disaster response vehicle in a league of its own.

The Verizon Response Team (VRT) has a collection of different types of field equipment, which they refer to as 'The Barnyard'. This includes COWs (Cell On Wheels), COLTs (Cell On Light Trucks), CROWs (Cellular Repeater On Wheels) and GOATs (Generator On A Trailer). The latest addition to this is THOR (Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response).

The press release points out:

THOR is National Incident Management System — or NIMS-1 — compliant and offers full radio interoperability and onboard Joint Operations Center services. It provides a multitude of connectivity options, spanning private 5G, commercial 4G LTE, Land Mobile Radio and tactical radio, wireless networking, microwave, mesh and more. Other components include 4G/5G radios, a rear command center, a camera, a six-seat cabin and an exterior touch screen display.

It also comes equipped with a tethered drone to capture an aerial view that can be fed over the network to devices on the ground and the command center below, potentially helping those in public safety or the military with risk and damage assessment, situational awareness or search and rescue operations.

As a prototype, there are currently no plans to build a second THOR, as designs for future 5G-enabled response vehicles continue to evolve.

Here is a video with more details of THOR.

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