PSCR Hosts Summit Focused on Next-Generation Deployable Networks
Monday, November 06, 2017 | Comments

Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) hosted a two-day Next Generation Deployable Networks Research and Development (R&D) Summit from October 18-19 at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) Boulder Labs. The summit gave stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on public safety’s requirements and desired outcomes for the Next Generation Deployable Network, defined by PSCR as multiple independent Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks all operating in conjunction with one another to augment the existing public-safety broadband network.

Summit attendees brainstormed how to advance LTE architecture, resiliency, backhaul and other potential solutions to more effectively support two deployable network use cases. The use cases that PSCR identified included dynamic incident area network with no existing coverage or backhaul, and dynamic coverage of an existing network with intermittent backhaul.

During the first day of the summit, stakeholders brainstormed specific technology and knowledge gaps inhibiting the expanded use of deployable systems in each of these use cases. When identifying gaps, attendees were organized into breakout groups that aligned with the following five focus areas:
• Interconnection, backhaul and vehicles;
• Resilient systems
• Security
• LTE platforms
• Applications

The breakout groups identified gap themes that were then used to brainstorm end-to-end deployable network solutions on the second day of the summit. Some of the gaps identified included:
• Lack of tools/analytics and standards to measure, model and predict network coverage, capabilities, load and reliability in real time to inform decision-making for self-organized networks
• Inability for deployables from different vendors or agencies to recognize and synchronize with each other
• The need to determine when to rely on deployable resources versus core resources
• The need to determine an architecture or process for data storage and processing at the edge to minimize backhaul reliance and to balance network load
• Identity, credential and access management (ICAM) on the fly and how to register with other non-federated ICAM services (i.e., mutual aid)
• Common services/standardization for applications
• The need to optimize size, weight, power of deployable hardware for different tasks, agencies and environments

On the second day, attendees characterized ways in which a user can interact with a deployable network. The solution descriptions included technologies that support the complete network, security and application set required to get from one desired user point to another. The second day concluded with a plenary brainstorm session on what represents the critical elements of a deployable networks test bed, what technologies could be evaluated in this test bed, measurement approaches and experiment designs to best evaluate the effectiveness of these technologies, key performance indicators, and challenges to consider when testing identified technologies.

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