DHS S&T Twitter Chat Details Datacasting Pilots
Thursday, January 28, 2016 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and several government partners detailed lessons learned from a pair of datacasting pilots during a Twitter chat Jan. 27.

In 2015, the DHS S&T conducted pilots of the technology in Houston and Chicago with the help of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). APL coordinated installation, designed and executed the technical test and evaluation, and analyzed the test data for the pilots.

Datacasting uses portions of a public broadcasting station’s bandwidth to transmit video, data files and other incident information to public responders within the station’s coverage area.

“One challenge is getting the ‘same data at the same time’ to different agencies — datacasting solves that,” APL said. Because datacasting uses existing television infrastructure, it doesn’t overwhelm other public-safety communications channels, the DHS S&T said. The technology also minimizes interference with other communications methods, because it uses a different type of signal, the Houston Office of Emergency Management said.

The pilots also showed that datacasting can help overcome the issue of sending data to multiple users across large geographic areas, APL said.

After-action reports on the Houston and Chicago datacasting pilots are available here and here.

Recap the chat by searching #STTechTalk on Twitter.

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