December 14, 2018
Many communications systems are dependent upon infrastructure which is outside the control of the system operator. For example, a land mobile radio system may be dependent upon commercial electrical power or internet connectivity to link tower sites. Mitigation of these vulnerabilities becomes increasingly difficult as the distance between nodes on the system increases. High Frequency (HF) radio is one technology which supports long-distance communications without any dependency on vulnerable infrastructure outside the control of the sending and receiving radio stations. The Department of Homeland Security maintains the Shared Resources HF Radio Program to assist all levels of government and critical infrastructure / key resources providers with meeting their long-distance emergency communications needs.
Ross Merlin is the program manager of the Department of Homeland Security’s SHARES (SHAred RESources) HF radio program. The SHARES program of the National Coordinating Center for Communications (NCC) makes it possible for HF radio stations of all levels of government and those of critical infrastructure / key resources providers to have interoperable emergency communications over long distances without dependence on vulnerable infrastructure.
Before joining the NCC Ross was with DHS’s Office of Emergency Communications, where he wrote the “National Interoperability Field Operations Guide” (NIFOG).
Other emergency communications experience includes DHS Spectrum Manager, FNARS (FEMA National Radio System) team leader and FEMA Spectrum Manager, and Telecommunications and Information Resources Manager for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System.
Ross earned a B.S. degree magna cum laude in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland.