With Tornado Coverage, Fox News Channel Formally Unveils Its ‘Quick Response’ Vehicle

By Alex Weprin Comment

Following the devastating tornado in Oklahoma this week, Fox News put one of its new assets to work: a “quick response” vehicle designed specifically to cover the aftermath of disasters, where cell service is often spotty or nonexistent. While every news organization has some sort of vehicle-based mobile transmission system, the technology that distinguishes FNC’s truck from its competition is its Raysat Satellite Antenna.

Backpack-based systems like LiveU are tremendously useful, but in places like Moore, OK where there is limited or no cell service, they become much more challenging to use. BGAN satellite antennas have become the standard for these sorts of vehicles, though FNC and RaySat say their antenna can carry 10 times the bandwidth of a BGAN, resulting in substantially higher picture quality (see video shot from the vehicle, after the jump).

FNC says that the vehicles were built with disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes in mind, to be used in places where navigation is a challenge and communication services are not available or in disarray. The truck is built on a modified Ford F450 chassis.

The channel currently has four “quick response” trucks in service, based in New York, Chicago, Denver and Dallas.