PSCR Awards $6M to 3 Groups for MCPTT Device Testing Tools
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | Comments

The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded three applicants the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program: Mission Critical Voice Test Equipment (PSIAP-MCVTE) funding opportunity totalling more than $6 million.

Polaris Networks, Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal in Spain and were each awarded funding to develop test equipment and associated code required to test communications devices based on Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards for mission critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) technology and related public-safety features such as mission-critical data (MCData) and mission-critical video (MCVideo).

The largest funding amount of $3.6 million went to Universidad del Pais Vasco/Euskal, part of University of the Basque Country, for the development of an IP-based test simulator, entitled MCVTE TaaSTING, that could be used for compliance testing of the mission-critical implementations. The awardee intends for the platform to be made available via a cloud service and will work to develop a streamlined testing process.

Additionally, because various industry players still demand realistic testing of Long Term Evolution (LTE) capabilities required for effective mission-critical operations, the awardee plans to develop end-to-end RF modulation and coding scheme (MCS) testing equipment, which will include evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multimedia Service (eMBMS) features. This project will be funded over a two-year period.

Fidel Liberal, project coordinator, said partners include Nemergent Solutions, GridGears, TCCA, Public Safety Technology Alliance (PSTA), Sonim Technologies, Enensys and Texas A&M University (TAMU). The first meeting is scheduled for next week in Bilbao, Spain.

Polaris Networks was awarded more than $2.1 million for its project, which also will be funded during a two-year period. More on that award is here.

Valid8 was awarded $774,049 for its proposed system, the Valid8 MCX Client Conformance Tester, which is intended to bring significant advances to existing test tools. Valid8 has developed and deployed hundreds of test systems worldwide to meet these challenges. The company intends to develop the system to build on existing capabilities and extend them to form a robust capability for conformance testing MCPTT, MCVideo, and MCData. This project will be funded during a one-year period.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also plans to use a Valid8 product for the Project 25 (P25) Inter RF Subsystem (ISSI) and Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) conformance testing program.

The PSIAP-MCVTE cooperative agreement from PSCR seeks to support research and development around the creation of a simulator program to enable the necessary testing of MCPTT technology. The simulator will be expected to support standardized MCPTT, MCVideo and MCData test cases.

The $12 million funding opportunity was announced last year. Final funding amounts depend on the number of applications received, the amounts requested in the application’s budgets and the proposals selected based on the evaluation process, PSCR said.

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On 2/4/20, Bud Biswas said:
It has been a privilege for Polaris Networks to participate in this very important milestone of mission-critical device certification testing. We expect to work closely with the other two award recipients to make sure that together we can provide the mission-critical community the means for testing their mission-critical devices to guarantee error-free operation.


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