Los Alamos National Laboratory

Vital Alert Technologies Inc.

August 01, 2006 11:00 ET

Vital Alert Technologies Inc.: Through the Earth Communication Licensed by Los Alamos National Laboratory

Underground Radio'TM' revolutionizes subterranean emergency rescue capabilities

LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 1, 2006) -

Communications and Government Relations Division
Communications Office

Los Alamos National Laboratory today announced that Vital Alert Technologies Inc. signed two exclusive license agreements with the Laboratory for Underground Radio™, a technology that will provide Through-The-Earth Communication™, (two-way voice and text) for first responders, rescue and security teams, underground miners and the public in critical emergency situations around the world. Underground Radio, originally developed by Los Alamos for the Department of Energy, is being commercialized by Vital Alert Technologies for use by emergency rescue crews in urban centers and by the mining industry.

"The new technology is a breakthrough in digital and wireless communications," said Joe Miller, president and CEO of Vital Alert. "As a pre- and post- emergency warning, evacuation, and rescue communication system, it solves RF (radio frequency) radio failure problems and eliminates systems downtime complications in difficult environments such as subways, tunnels, skyscrapers, and mines. The new technology will also greatly enhance the ability of mining companies to protect their workers."

Underground Radio is a through-the-earth communications mechanism that offers high-level security to critical government, industrial, military, commercial, and public infrastructure. It also can be used to respond to threats of terrorism and natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires. It uses very low frequency (VLF) electromagnetic radiation and digital audio compression technology to carry voice and text data. The VLF signals also can transmit tracking and location data for radio users in the case that they are unable to respond.

"This is a technical solution to the problem of voice communication in underground areas. It is also inexpensive to build," said David Reagor, the principal investigator of the Los Alamos team who originally developed the technology.

Given global concerns about terrorist attacks such as 9/11, the London subway bombings, natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, and underground incidents such as the recent Sago mining tragedy in West Virginia, there is a growing need for more reliable technology to provide through-the-earth communication, especially for those trapped underground or beneath rubble and other debris.

Underground Radio provides two-way voice reception that can be used to alert individuals of underground conditions during blasts, fires or collapses, or to locate trapped miners. The technology provides convenient, portable underground communication and a data link to robotic machines.

Funding for Underground Radio came from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technology and from Laboratory Directed Research and Development - a program in which a portion of the Laboratory's operating budget is used to fund outstanding, emerging or innovative science and technology.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA in its mission. Los Alamos develops and applies science and technology to ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction, proliferation, and terrorism; and solve national problems in defense, energy, environment, and infrastructure.

Vital Alert Technologies, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vital Alert Communication Inc. As a technology and IP company, Vital Alert develops pre and post emergency, safety and rescue technology for the urban communications sector (commercial, government, industrial, military/defense and the public) and for the mining communications sector. The company's mission is to "save lives." For more information on Vital Alert, go to www.vitalalert.com

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