The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Interoperability Compatibility (OIC) supported by the Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) used Polaris Networks’ NetEPC to demonstrate a public-safety-centric communications system that delivers improved situational awareness to the Coast Guard and enhances its ability to respond to and manage offshore emergencies.AT&T Reports Quarterly Financials, Touts FirstNet Win
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The primary objective of the DHS Component Communications Experiment was to demonstrate the ability to provide a commercially available, fully interoperable, Joint Interoperability Test Command (JTIC)-compliant, communications system allowing voice, data and video interoperability among local, state and federal first responder elements to include at least three different components of DHS in accordance with Public Law 114-120, United States Coast Guard (USCG) Authorization Act of 2015. The secondary objective was to demonstrate the integration of other developmental equipment using the pilot communications network to show additional capability across the multimedia spectrum.
The exercise, which aimed to boost the effectiveness of the Coast Guard’s search-and-seizure operation from Boston to Washington, D.C., highlighted how the operation could be augmented by live voice and video from the location of the incident on the water back to the command-and-control center in Washington in real time.
In this experiment, a Long Term Evolution (LTE) band class 14/Wi-Fi router in a boat provided network connectivity to a number of terminals in surrounding boats. These terminals included airborne drones, streaming video cameras and other commercial Wi-Fi and LTE devices. A band class 14 macro eNodeB and the NetEPC were collocated onshore on a system on wheels. The EPC was connected to the Internet via satellite backhaul.
The network was evaluated over multiple days with the exercise taking place on the final day. The applications tested included push-to-talk (PTT) voice, video and some amount of messaging. The experiment was beneficial to the DHS component agencies and other participants by showing how public-safety communications technology can improve overall communications and situational awareness, and how gaps in network coverage during offshore operations can be eliminated using deployable network equipment.
Polaris Networks has been working as a PSCR partner under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) since 2013. The Polaris product provides all the core network elements required LTE deployment.
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