Hendon Publishing - Article Archive Details

Print Article Rate Comment Reprint Information

Technology For The First Responders

Written by Jennifer Gavigan

        Technology for first responders is changing at a rapid rate to keep up with the growing demands of the profession. Law enforcement agencies are doing more with less, and advanced technology helps them do just that. Here's a look at some of the latest solutions for public safety from several industry leaders.

1. ALCATEL-LUCENT
www.alcatel-lucent.com
        To meet the needs of first responders, Alcatel-Lucent acts as the end-to-end system integrator to design, integrate, deploy, operate and maintain robust, resilient digital PMR solutions. Alcatel-Lucent relies on strategic partnerships with leading digital PMR vendors to select best-of-breed products and deliver turnkey solutions that are tailored precisely to public safety requirements.         The digital PMR voice network, provided by strategic partners, is based on region-dependent digital standards: TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio), an open standard defined by the European Telecommunications Standardization Institute and APCO 25, an open standard defined by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials Broadband access services.
        For first responders requiring bandwidth-hungry applications, Alcatel-Lucent integrates the appropriate wireless broadband overlay (such as LTE) that can provide high-speed data capabilities, complementing a TETRA or APCO 25 voice narrowband network. Compact and self-contained, this 4G network-in-a-box is powered by Bell Labs, and enables public safety agencies to establish a temporary trusted network for secure real-time mission-critical voice, video, data and sensor communications anywhere, anytime.
        Emergency response is increasingly relying on live-video streaming from areas affected by a crisis situation. With the booming of IP-ready cameras and encoders, mission critical networks are evolving to accommodate the transport of the video flows with high resilience, and Alcatel-Lucent can serve public safety agencies bringing together its product portfolio with CCTV technologies from its strategic technological partners.
        Agency fixed sites (such as TETRA, P25 and broadband base stations), operations centers and video sources are connected with a communications wide area network (WAN) based upon IP/MPLS and/or SDH/SONET using the most appropriate combination of transmission media (microwave, fiber, copper). This converged network delivers high availability support for mission critical traffic as well as LAN and voice.
        This nerve center uses advanced Operations Support Systems (OSS) software to supervise the entire network, providing operation support, user management and security management. Alcatel-Lucent OSS tools optimized for digital PMR networks greatly enhance the performance of the networks. First responders are tightly linked to emergency call centers (E911/E112), which process emergency reports from the public and efficiently feed them to the relevant public safety agency.
        The Command and Control (C2) Center manages an array of integrated applications, including Automatic Vehicle Location, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), video surveillance (including CCTV), using computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and IP-based voice switches to enhance first responder efficiency and public safety.

2. CISCO SYSTEMS
www.cisco.com
        Cisco's enhancements to its 5900 Series Embedded Services Router (ESR) product line include the 5940 ESR and 5915 ESR, to bring improved performance and added features to the ruggedized routers. The updates expand the capabilities of Cisco(r) Mobile Ready Net solution architecture, establishing a scalable mobile network that connects organizational resources with a high degree of security to connect users.
        The Cisco 5900 Series ESRs are the next generation of mobile and embedded networking, adding flexibility for industrial, commercial, military, homeland security and emergency response applications in harsh environments. The product line incorporates Cisco IOS(r) Software with Cisco Mobile Ready Net capabilities to provide highly secure data, voice and video communications to stationary and mobile network nodes across both wired and wireless links. When combined with UHF, VHF, Wi-Fi and other radio platforms, these routers enable transparent roaming over multiple wireless networks, without requiring a connection to central infrastructure. The Cisco 5900 Series ESRs extend router functionality with security, link optimization and collaboration in one compact form factor.
        The updates to the Cisco 5900 Series ESRs include: IP Multiplexing, a satellite link optimization technology that improves bandwidth efficiency for customers using satellite links with packet-per-second constraints; Improved performance of up to 30 percent on Cisco 5940 ESR; WAAS Express, a cost-effective, transparent and easy-to-deploy WAN optimization solution that improves limited bandwidth link performance; Extended number of Call Manager Express endpoints for Cisco 5940 ESR to support larger teams of up to 150 individuals. In addition, Dynamic Link Exchange Protocol (DLEP), a link and route optimization technology, has been added to address the challenges faced when merging IP routing and radio frequency (RF) communications. DLEP is the latest protocol in the Radio Aware Routing (RAR) family.
        To demonstrate Cisco's commitment to improving product quality and security for all customers, Cisco 5940 ESR is Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS), Common Criteria, USGv6 and IPv6 Ready Logo certified. In cooperation with industry leading partners, Cisco now offers fully supported networking applications such as Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) to support embedded deployments with the Cisco 5940 ESR. Cisco has verified UCM on both the Extreme Engineering Solutions XPedite7332 and the Emerson Network Power CPCI7203 single board computers. Both of these platforms have been certified by VMware and are included in the VMware Compatibility Guide. Together, the Cisco 5940 ESR and a single board computer running UCM create Advanced Networking Nodes from which mobile ad hoc networks can be built for military, public safety, energy, industrial, transportation and smart grid applications. In addition, Cisco 5940 ESR customers now have more choices with VMware vSphere(r), which has been expanded to cover a broad range of embedded processors, I/O devices and servers.
        Additional background/ benefits for Law Enforcement include: Ad hoc networks deliver Internet Protocol (IP)-based voice, video and data to users operating beyond the reach of traditional fixed-network infrastructures. Mobile ad hoc networks provide law enforcement with greater flexibility to update normal operational procedures across the board and modify the fundamental way that business is done. With minimal user training, the very same capabilities available in the office can now be deployed for use in the field.
        For example, imagine an officer is out on patrol and identifies a suspicious person. The officer stops the suspect and, with a mobile ad hoc network, is able to use facial recognition software to determine this is a wanted felon. Even though he is away from headquarters, he maintains contact, so he sends a constant video stream of his interaction with the suspect back to headquarters. Not only can headquarters monitor the interaction in real time, but the officer can also access all the applications available on that network. In this case, he uses facial recognition and fingerprint identification data from the system to identify the felon. The police officer can take the suspect into custody, and headquarters can give disposition instructions, all on the scene.

3. HARRIS
www.harris.com
        Harris Corporation's Momentum(tm) is a complete DMR-based communications solution for the growing North American Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) user community. Momentum provides comprehensive, cost-effective and highly reliable communications for public agencies and private organizations. In addition, radios will enable public safety, public service, municipal, utility and transportation users to leverage the latest digital technology and meet the FCC's narrowbanding deadline.
        With Momentum, the DMR users will experience: Powerful standards-based TDMA products that are compatible with DMR Tier II (conventional) and Tier III (trunked) compliant systems; IP connectivity to create cost-effective wide area networks; Integrated GPS for fleet management applications and solutions; Combination of high-performance specifications and features with an intuitive, user-centric interface in a lightweight, durable package; Products that meet industry and military standards to provide dependable connections under challenging conditions.
        Available from the North American Harris dealer network, the Momentum line includes the following DMR standards-based, digital communications products:
        HDP150 - Digital Portable Two-Way Radio: Featuring a large, full-color liquid crystal display, full system keypad and user-defined softkeys, the HDP150 portable radio is simple to operate and offers a cellphone-like user experience.
        HDM150 - Digital Mobile Two-Way Radio: Designed with a large, full-color thin-film transistor liquid crystal display, the HDM150 mobile radio also features a large multifunction volume and channel selector knob with a robust internal speaker or optional external speaker for use in high-noise environments. When configured with an optional desktop microphone and power supply, the HDM150 can operate as a desktop control station.
        HDP100 - Digital Portable Two-Way Radio: The lightweight portable voice radio offers efficient real-time communication and staff management.
        HDR100 - Repeater: The HDR100 detects whether the signal received is analog or digital and transmits in the appropriate mode, providing an ideal solution for users transitioning from analog to digital operation. The HDR100 protects the user's investment by assuring compatibility with current analog systems and allows future migration to DMR systems.

4. MOTOROLA
www.motorolasolutions.com
        Motorola Solutions, Inc. announced the latest additions to its award-winning APX Project 25 (P25) Phase 2 Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) mission critical two-way radio series with the launch of two mobile radio control heads. Motorola is also expanding its Bluetooth(r) Mission Critical Wireless portfolio with additional earpiece options, a solution compatible with both the APX and Motorola XTS(tm) radio series.
        Designed for extreme environments with exaggerated controls and a rugged, impact green colored housing, the APX O2 Mobile Control Head incorporates Motorola's XE extreme series' rugged design and ergonomics for use by firefighters, marine units, utilities and mining. It features a large color display with intelligent lighting and an integrated speaker for loud, clear audio.
        The compact APX O7 Mobile Control Head is a flush-mount design with integrated keypad, siren, lights, public address (PA) and gun-lock controls. It features a large color display as well as an enlarged multi-function rotary knob for easier control of talk-group and volume settings. Both control heads will be available in the second quarter of 2012.
        A discreet design ideal for undercover and plainclothes officers, the earbud configuration for the APX and XTS series portable radios is a cost-effective and high-performing earpiece option, adding to the Bluetooth Mission Critical Wireless portfolio. Enabling every word to be heard, Motorola's Mission Critical Wireless accessories are designed specifically for public safety with simple touch pairing and fast push-to-talk (PTT).
        The smallest, lightest P25 TDMA-capable portable radio in the industry, the APX 4000 is now shipping in North America to public works, public utility and rural public safety customers. Like other APX radios, the APX 4000 has a two-microphone design that reduces background noise so users can speak and hear clearly in challenging environments, an easy user interface, and an enlarged multi-function knob to easily turn the radio on or off, set volume, and switch talk groups.
        The LEX 700 Mission Critical Handheld by Motorola Solutions offers first responders a virtual partner, helping them monitor the environment, gather information and be more aware. With a compact, rugged form factor and quick-response interface, the device brings robust management capabilities to ensure IT staff can easily deploy its new fleet of IP data devices with the confidence of full visibility and control. Security and resiliency services ensure business continuity, protection of sensitive data, and proactive mitigation of impending security threats.
        The LEX 700 is designed to provide first and secondary responders access to intuitive multimedia applications that increase situational awareness, enhance tactical collaboration, and enable greater in-field productivity. Features include: A shared operational view of an incident with high-quality, real-time video pulled from fixed and mobile cameras or streamed to the field from the command center; Tracking information from mobile computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and real-time collaboration software lets everyone see the positions of field assets and know where they need to be next; Everyday tasks like ticket writing, identity verification and suspect booking are handled within minutes on the scene, and transmitted directly to headquarters so there's no need to file paperwork.
        The device is designed to deliver data, photos, video and voice quickly, reliably and securely over multiple networks. It starts with Public Safety LTE, and includes Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE, 3G EV-DO, and 1x RTT networks, as well as 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
        The LEX 700 provides multiple voice communications options, from making a simple phone call to joining a Project 25 (P25) radio talk group via a P25-LTE gateway. A dedicated Push-to-Talk (PTT) button and dual-mic, advanced noise-canceling capabilities help ensure your voice will be heard.
        With a hardened ultra-bright display, the LEX 700 is sealed and ruggedized against drops, moisture and temperature extremes. Armed with a long-lasting, hot-swappable battery and secure Bluetooth(r) technology to connect peripherals like audio headsets, wireless printers or biometric readers, first responders have a device they can count on - even in a crisis.

LEX 700 Handheld
        The LEX 700 Mission Critical Handheld by Motorola Solutions offers first responders a virtual partner, helping them monitor the environment, gather information, and be more aware. With a compact, rugged form factor and quick-response interface, the device brings robust management capabilities to ensure IT staff can easily deploy its new fleet of IP data devices with the confidence of full visibility and control. Security and resiliency services ensure business continuity, protection of sensitive data and proactive mitigation of impending security threats.
        The LEX 700 is designed to provide first and secondary responders access to intuitive multimedia applications that increase situational awareness, enhance tactical collaboration, and enable greater in-field productivity. Key features include: A shared operational view of an incident with high-quality, real-time video pulled from fixed and mobile cameras or streamed to the field from the command center. Tracking information from mobile computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and real-time collaboration software lets everyone see the positions of field assets and know where they need to be next.
        Everyday tasks like ticket writing, identity verification and suspect booking are handled within minutes on the scene, and transmitted directly to headquarters so there's no need to file paperwork. The device is designed to deliver data, photos, video and voice quickly, reliably and securely over multiple networks. It starts with Public Safety LTE, and includes Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE, 3G EV-DO, and 1x RTT networks, as well as 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
        The LEX 700 provides multiple voice communications options, from making a simple phone call to joining a Project 25 (P25) radio talk group via a P25-LTE gateway. A dedicated Push-to-Talk (PTT) button and dual-mic, advanced noise-canceling capabilities help ensure your voice will be heard.
        With a hardened ultra-bright display, the LEX 700 is sealed and ruggedized against drops, moisture and temperature extremes. It also includes a long-lasting, hot-swappable battery and secure Bluetooth(r) technology to connect peripherals like audio headsets, wireless printers or biometric readers.
        The device will make a secure connection directly to a Motorola P25 radio; the two devices work together to give responders reliable connectivity and convenient operation when they need it most. The LEX 700 can be used to remotely control a radio, changing the channel, zone, volume or just monitor radio traffic.

5. RAYTHEON
www.raytheon.com
        Raytheon Company dedicated one of the largest public safety technology and research centers in Southern California. It houses actual, hands-on solutions that public safety agencies can use to significantly improve day-to-day operations and their responses to major incidents. The Public Safety Regional Technology Center (RTC) in Downey, near Los Angeles, features technologies that include:
        Regional communications: Vendor-neutral communications networks that let first responders connect their existing systems with the latest technologies in both Land Mobile Radios (LMR) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G broadband solutions.
        Boomerang: A military combat-proven shooter detection system that helps law enforcement immediately locate the source of firearms being discharged.
        Controlled Impact Rescue Tool: Search-and-rescue tool capable of cutting through a reinforced concrete wall up to four times faster than with traditional methods such as drilling, chipping or sawing.
        The Public Safety Regional Technology Center is the only one of its kind in the nation focused solely on developing open architecture and open communications standards for the public safety market, and conducting research to answer public safety's technological needs.

Open Standards Server
        Raytheon's new interoperability server includes advanced features to help public safety agencies communicate with one another. The features include the ability to bring in P25 radio users over Internet Protocol (IP), and to connect 4G/LTE (Long-Term Evolution) system users by a Bluetooth link to a system handset. Both features include the ability to transfer data.
        "Improving voice communications among first responders will always be our Number 1 priority," said TJ Kennedy, director of Public Safety and Security Systems for Raytheon's Network Centric Systems business. "But no one can discount the usefulness of key metadata such as user identification and emergency call. The new server continues our mission of providing interoperability among existing equipment and also facilitates budget-friendly, phased-in deployments of new systems by linking the upgraded and existing portions of the network," Kennedy added.
        Raytheon's P25 ISSI capability moves the radio gateway concept beyond the donor radio approach, bringing in P25 users directly via IP. P25 talk groups can be dynamically linked to any of the member agencies of the interoperability system, including other P25 talk groups.
        The server uses other gateways, such as Raytheon's ACU-5000, for local interoperability and to convert non-IP communications (from radios, telephones, etc.) for transfer to the server via IP. The system will also include mobile apps optimized for laptops and smartphones, further broadening the base of applicable communications devices.
        The Bluetooth feature solves the interface dilemma created by the increased use of LTE handsets for public safety communications. Handsets are upgraded or replaced on a frequent basis and typically don't have a connector for a cable interface. This is resolved by employing the only common standard, Bluetooth. With Bluetooth, any handset can provide an interoperability link to a 4G/LTE (or 3G) system. A system operator can now accept calls or dial out via the handset, and patch the resulting link to any other members of the interoperability system.


Jennifer Gavigan is the Managing Editor of LAW and ORDER, Tactical Response and Police Fleet Manager Magazines. She can be reached at jgavigan@hendonpub.com.

Published in Law and Order, Jun 2012

Rating : 10.0


Comments

Comment on This Article

No Comments


Related Companies

Alcatel-LucentCisco SystemsHarris CorpMotorolaRaytheon
 

Related Products

APX 02 Mobile Control HeadAPX 07 Mobile Control HeadAPX 4000Cisco 5900 Series ESRsHDM150 - Digital Mobile Two-Way RadioHDP100 - Digital Portable Two-Way RadioHDP150 - Digital Portable Two-Way RadioHDR100 - RepeaterLEX 700 Mission Critical HandheldPMR solutionsRaytheon new interoperability server
 

Article Images

Click to enlarge images.

 
Events and Tradeshows: LAOPFMTRPSIT
Latest News: LAOPFMTRPSIT
 
Close ...