Field Systems Engineering

This team’s job is to:

  • Focus on getting technology into field settings
  • Research cost-effective, sustainable solutions
  • Help field personnel maintain existing equipment
  • Help train field workers in areas of technology
  • Install or upgrade equipment in field sites
  • Provide consultation with field teams on projects

Products and services:

  • Internet via satellite (VSAT, BGAN systems)
  • Solar power
  • Generator and battery backup
  • Network and power systems monitoring
  • Voice and data communications via radio
  • Satellite phone consulting and support
  • Long range Wi-Fi consulting
  • Network design, consulting, and troubleshooting
  • Purchase of solar power equipment and BGAN personal Internet modems

Technical Challenges

Because of the ongoing civil war, most of CAR’s Bible translation work has been taking place in Bangui, the capital where an office is located. But now the leaders of SIL feel the situation is stable enough for some of the teams to return to their local villages, where they will have broader access to more language speakers who can participate in the translation process.

Since few of these remote locations have reliable cellular coverage (through which they would receive Internet access) the leaders have asked the field systems engineering team to help provide fifteen BGAN portable satellite systems.

Previously, seven BGANs were sent to the neighboring country of Cameroon for use in remote projects, and over the past year all of those systems have been replaced with cellular Internet systems, because of new cellular coverage in Cameroon. Therefore, these BGANs will be re-deployed to CAR, along with other new BGAN systems.

Having satellite connectivity in these remote locations will be critical, so translators can remain in contact even if local cellular service is not available. Since BGANs are more expensive to operate than a cellular Internet system, if better cell connections become available later in CAR then those BGANs  will be re-deployed to other locations which lack other forms of Internet access.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for the people of the Central African Republic: for peace in their country, for the ongoing work of Bible translation, and for the eventual spread of God’s Word and its life-changing power.
  • Thank God for the opportunity for national translators in CAR to return to their language communities to better engage others in the translation process.
  • Pray for funding for the new BGAN equipment needed, which is quite expensive, and for the Field Systems team as they test and configure the equipment prior to shipping.