P25 CAP Recognizes DOI Lab for ISSI, CSSI Conformance Testing
Wednesday, October 07, 2020 | Comments

The Project 25 (P25) Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) recognized a Department of Interior (DOI) lab in Denver, Colorado, to perform independent third-party P25 Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) and Inter RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI) conformance testing.

P25 CAP is a formal, independent testing process for P25 compliance with publicly published results. Through this open-standards testing process, P25 CAP provides first responders with confidence that the communications equipment they use will be interoperable, regardless of the manufacturer. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T)-recognized labs carry out conformance testing to P25 CAP requirements to ensure that radios meet manufacturers’ claims that they are, in fact, interoperable and compatible with standards.

“DHS S&T’s partnership with DOI addressed a critical lack of testing laboratories to conduct the ISSI and CSSI conformance testing,” said Sridhar Kowdley, S&T program manager for the P25 CAP. “This DHS-DOI partnership created significant cost savings by leveraging resources and capabilities of DOI laboratories. This lab, having been accredited, will make significant contributions to the P25 CAP. Their accreditation process and lessons learned will be used to assist other industry laboratory accreditations.”

The DOI lab partnered with DHS S&T to achieve the accreditation and received support from the Department of Commerce (DOC) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS). DOI was accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board, fulfilling the requirements of International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17025:2017, upon successfully demonstrating the required rigor of a P25 CAP test facility.

“Our commitment to accredited testing ensures interoperable LMR communications are available to support critical public-safety operations,” said William Vajda, DOI chief information officer. “We appreciate the dedication and collaboration from DHS S&T and look forward to continuing our successful partnership.”

CSSI connects a public-safety operator who is responsible for the dispatch of personnel and equipment to an existing P25 system. The CSSI also allows public-safety dispatch consoles from different vendors to interoperate. ISSI allows users on otherwise disparate networks to communicate with one another by providing an interconnection between P25 systems, including those built by different manufacturers and with different software versions. These wide-area networks are known as system-of-systems architectures. The ISSI is also expected to play a role in the eventual interconnection between P25 systems and broadband LTE networks.

As equipment vendors successfully complete the conformance and interoperability tests, the equipment will be added to S&T’s Approved (Grant-Eligible) Equipment list. Public-safety agencies can use federal grant funding to purchase any equipment on the list.

“P25 ISSI/CSSI is critical for DOI moving forward,” said Russ Sveda, the DOI radio and spectrum program manager. “DOI operates several hundred P25/LMR systems across the 50 states and [U.S.] territories, and most public-safety operations includes state, local and federal partners. Interconnecting with partner LMR systems and national public-safety broadband networks is key to modernizing our field communications and why this testing is so important to us.”

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