P25 CAP Explores Options for ISSI/CSSI Testing
Tuesday, November 07, 2017 | Comments

The Project 25 (P25) Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) is working to jump-start a means to test and certify P25 Inter RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI) and Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) equipment. Specifically, the program is exploring potential government laboratories for the ISSI/CSSI compliance testing.

ISSI and CSSI equipment has been on the market for years, but the parameters for testing the equipment under the CAP program haven’t been established. The biggest challenges for the interfaces are a lack of accredited laboratories to perform the testing. The tests are expensive because a lab needs the core infrastructure for three different vendors.

The Department of Interior (DOI) established a laboratory around 2001 to test P25 products and ensure interoperability among different vendors’ equipment. A DOI official said in 2011 that the department owned 63,000 two-way radios for its various bureaus and other agencies. DOI employees use LMR across all 50 states and mainly in areas that aren’t population centers.

“DOI already has a lab in Denver and has all the equipment,” said Sridhar Kowdley, program manager of the P25 CAP for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate. “Using the DOI laboratory is clearly in the exploratory state, and it has not been agreed upon with all parties. Specifically, the scope has not been defined. DOI could be simply a test bed to validate the ISSI and CSSI test documentation and a software tool for conducting compliance testing.”

“DOI is investigating doing the ISSI and CSSI testing,” said Russ Sveda, DOI radio and spectrum chief. “Lab certification is our challenge.”

Kowdley said DHS is working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to help validate a conformance tool, and DHS is exploring how to fund the process for the DOI lab to become a recognized CAP laboratory.

“We are hoping within the next year we have a rudimentary testing capability for the ISSI and CSSI,” he said. “We encourage users to help us drive the mission focus and enable that testing.”

The eight current P25 CAP labs are in the process of being reaccredited. Four labs — one Harris-owned lab, two labs owned by Motorola Solutions and third-party Timco Engineering’s lab — have all been newly recognized and accredited as P25 CAP labs. Tait Communications’ laboratory in New Zealand also has gone through the process and is newly accredited; officials are working to post the certificates. That leaves an EF Johnson Technologies lab, the third-party Compliance Testing lab and one Motorola interoperability lab still expected to apply for recognition, said Chris Kindelspire, a member of the P25 CAP advisory panel (AP).

The P25 CAP AP is also working to streamline and shorten the Suppliers’ Declaration of Compliance (SDOC) and Summary Test Report (STR) documents that public-safety communications officials use to verify which products are compliant under the program.

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