Alcatel-Lucent together with Cassidian (formerly EADS Defence & Security) and PlantCML®, the North American subsidiary of Cassidian, for the first time demonstrated interoperability between a live broadband LTE wireless network and digital land mobile radio (LMR) commonly used by local police, fire departments and other emergency responders.
The joint mission-critical communications solution was demonstrated at the 2010 Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Conference in Houston and highlighted a variety of voice, video and data applications. The demonstrations showed previews of new wireless public safety applications including the latest in command and control, interoperable field communications, operations management, mobile video, identity verification and more.
Access to high-speed, broadband wireless networks enhances communications and situational awareness within and between public safety agencies while helping to streamline operations and reduce the costs associated with maintaining multiple non-interoperable networks. By using LTE, the most robust wireless technology available, the Alcatel-Lucent and Cassidian solution delivers far more types of information including mobile video faster.
“Ultimately, it is expected that our joint solutions will deliver voice and data capabilities that are today associated with fixed public safety centers to any location, at any time,” said Darrin J. Reilly, chief operating officer, PlantCML. “This will bring state and local agencies more operational capabilities, much needed interoperability, and most importantly choice and control in the solutions deployed.”
In the short term, LTE-based solutions will provide high-speed remote access to databases, report management systems, e-mail and internal/external Internet-based resources and will eventually support rich graphics and streaming mobile video. That could give rescue teams instant access to blueprints to help them more quickly locate survivors in an earthquake. It would enable police officers to use digital imaging to catalog crime scene photos or file reports remotely, allowing them to spend more time in the field.
“Real-time access to mission-related information—anytime, anywhere— improves coordination and response time and ultimately saves lives,” said Ken Wirth, President, 4G/LTE Wireless Networks, Alcatel- Lucent. “This solution marks an important milestone in the collaboration we announced with Cassidian which brings together a force in the global public safety market with a leader in 4G LTE as well as in other critical communications technologies.”
Alcatel-Lucent is at the forefront of commercial deployments of LTE. At the 2010 APCO conference, Alcatel- Lucent’s “Rover” Incident Command Center was on display. Live LTE demos took place, including: emergency call handling of 9-1-1 calls with LTE-enabled video and automatic number identification; mobile radio dispatch with LTE communicating with PlantCML’s CORP25 VoIP product on the computer; and two fixed cameras within the booth that streamed mobile video with low latency. According to Danny Locklear, VP Marketing at Alcatel-Lucent, this technology “enables the masses to have good quality video in a mobile environment.” Real time means three times less latency. Some of the key expectations of LTE include: faster way of passing data; allow more users in a cost-effective manner; interoperability. The openness of the interfaces and the economies of scale are very critical. A shared network means relationships with service providers beyond what private networks offer. Although there is an increased public awareness about LTE, “we need more education on 4G; we need more people on it,” Locklear stated. Developed by Cassidian in Europe and also shown at APCO was the Enhanced Situational Awareness Concept Demonstration. Basically a cityscape over a glass table, it allows for 3D navigation from a command and control perspective, driven by touchscreen capabilities. Users can touch or use a joystick to manually move views, and they can link directly from the table to radios to P25 network to call specific units during a crisis situation. An alarm will sound and a red box pops up on the table’s screen if a 9-1-1 call comes in. Users can send video from the table to a mobile unit so officers in the field have the best situational awareness possible. An intuitive platform for defense and security at both the national and local levels, the Enhanced Situational Concept Demo will be deployed in the States in late 2011. G8/G20 Summits & Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
Cassidian, through subsidiary PlantCML®, announced that its CORP25 digital, trunked land mobile radio system served a mission critical role in security during the recent G8 and G20 Summits in Huntsville and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, handling in excess of 264,000 radio transmissions. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP worked in concert with the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canadian Forces, Toronto Police Service and other law enforcement and security agencies to ensure the public safety of the thousands of summit attendees, reporters, visitors and residents.
One of the most rapidly deployed (in less than seven months) largescale mission critical systems of its kind, this state-of-the-art, open-standard IP-based CORP25 digital radio communications network not only serviced the RCMP’s critical communications needs during the G8 and G20 Summits, it will also be expanded to provide ongoing safety and security for the province of Ontario, Canada. The APCO Project 25 (P25) digital public safety radio communication network, along with command and control centers, will now serve the entire province of Ontario as a component of the new Central Region Operation Communication System.
The G8 and G20 summits are held annually for world leaders to discuss topics of global concern ranging from terrorism to the economy. Canadian public safety officials have stated the summits represented the largest deployment of security personnel for a major event in Canadian history. It is estimated that this deployment surpasses that of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with more sites and more users’ devices covering a larger geographical area, all implemented in less than 25 percent of the time.
“The Cassidian CORP25 system worked reliably, surpassing high levels of standard Quality of Service metrics. With more than 2,500 terminals used during the event, security operations processed more than 58,000 radio transmissions per day, all handled seamlessly during the events,” said Chuck Sackley, VP and GM for Land Mobile Radio Solutions.
“More and more, we see organizers of large events—political gatherings, sporting competitions, concerts or multi-jurisdictional security events—opting for open standardsbased, interoperable digital radio networks to help them coordinate the efforts of their security personnel,” said Pierre Delestrade, president and CEO, Cassidian Canada. “Cassidian is proud to provide the security backbone necessary to assure the smooth running of such high-profile events as well as longterm communications for the future of the region.”
To provide the most current equipment available, Cassidian worked with Motorola, Zetron and EXACOM. EXACOM supplied its Hindsight-G2™ Multi-Media P25 Logging Recorder System. This recording system incorporates the latest in public safety recording initiatives with integrations to address both Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1- 1) technology and P25 IP radio systems. Zetron provided its Advanced Communication (Acom) dispatch console system. Acom is a fully digital switching and multiplexing system that represents the state-of-the-art in dispatch console technology for mission-critical applications. The Acom system for this project included functionality that was optimized specifically for this application. As previously announced in May, Motorola XTS 2500 digital portable radios were also part of the total solution.
Its deployment for the G8 and G20 summits was another example of how the open, standards-compliant nature of CORP25 enables public safety agencies, such as the RCMP “O” Division, to select components from multiple vendors to create a “best in class” network that is tailored to address the specific needs of the agency at the lowest cost of ownership as well as extending the life of the network.
Photo courtesy of Cassidian and PlantCML.