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Science and Technology Voice, Video, and Data Programs for Public Safety

Voice, Video, and Data Programs for Public Safety

A police officer sits in his car typing on a laptopTo support FRG’s mission to provide first responders with the tools and technologies they need, the Voice, Video, and Data Portfolio was established to address how first responders send and receive information. Currently, the majority of communications occurs via land mobile radio (LMR), which has a short communication range and is on commercial cellular networks vulnerable infrastructure. FRG aims to identify capability gaps and develop innovative solutions that provide first responders with the tools, technologies, methodologies, and guidance they need to enable improved communications interoperability during the most pressing challenges they face during day-to-day and large-scale emergencies.

Recent Voice, Video, and Data News & Announcements

Broadband Demonstration Network – Deployables

In collaboration with FRG, the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) team is evaluating key aspects of Deployable Systems (DS) in laboratory, field and real-world environments. The Deployables project examines ways in which first responders could access and communicate critical information during incidents occurring in areas that are not served or are underserved by the fixed Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN)  or alternative access networks, such as commercial carriers or public Wi-Fi. The goal of the project is for public safety to have a better understanding of the state of DS in the industry, thereby enabling public safety to develop requirements that can be used in future releases of DS standards.

Related Publications, Videos & News

Broadband Demonstration Network – In-Building

FRG and the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) team are exploring methods for assessing the coverage of LTE systems inside of buildings. Many buildings and structures pose significant radio communication challenges that require in-building support to enable high-performance communications. To address this problem and to mitigate in-building coverage issues, the team has conducted extensive testing to determine the state of indoor LTE coverage and provide procedures and techniques to both quantify and improve in-building performance and coverage for band class 14 LTE Systems. The data obtained can be used to mitigate data gaps in and around buildings or areas where signal coverage is inadequate.

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Datacasting

Datacasting leverages existing broadcast television spectrum to deliver secure video and other information, such as blueprint files, with specified public safety users, providing a new and cost-effective method to relieve traffic from traditional wireless infrastructure. Datacasting is a broadcasting mechanism capable of one-to-many content delivery. For example, an unlimited number of recipients can be targeted without running out of bandwidth. FRG conducted three pilots of the technology with the cities of Houston and Chicago.

Related Publications, Videos & News

Fact Sheet and Videos

  • Fact Sheet: Datacasting Fact Sheet
  • Video:

    This 100 second video outlines how DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s First Responders Group (FRG) is exploring new spectrum options for public safety use through the piloting of datacasting technology.

  • Video: Datacasting at the Final Four 2016

Publications

News

Mission Critical Voice Intelligibility over Long Term Evolution (LTE)

Voice Intelligibility over Long Term Evolution (LTE) Broadband Network applications are emerging as an important communication tool for first responders, with an increasing number of public safety personnel using LTE in their daily operations. The intelligibility of speech — the ability to be understood — in difficult environments is one of the key requirements established by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council. This project aims to develop, implement, and analyze tests that measure how LTE-compatible digital speech coders and error-concealment algorithms perform in deteriorated radio channel conditions as appropriate for public safety applications. A fundamental requirement for mission critical push-to-talk voice services is the delivery of intelligible speech.  High intelligibility can support efficient execution of time-critical public safety operations.  Lower intelligibility can lead to requests for repetition that can slow operations, or even misunderstandings that can jeopardize operations, safety, and even lives.

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Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS)

VQiPS develops assessment tools and guidance documents that enable first responder agencies to purchase and deploy appropriate video technology to meet their operational needs. Purchase and deployment of systems by first responder agencies in accordance with VQiPS guidance will enhance video system interoperability within and across agencies. VQiPS coordinates disparate video standard development efforts and ultimately arm public safety consumers with the knowledge they need to purchase and deploy cost-efficient, interoperable video systems.

Related Publications, Videos & News

Fact Sheet and Videos

  • Fact Sheet: VQiPS Fact Sheet
  • Video:

    The Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS) initiative provides information and support to first responders so they can articulate their video quality needs and ultimately buy the best products to fit their unique needs.

Publications

News

Wearable Alert and Monitoring System (WAMS)

In partnership with NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), our teams are developing a distributed intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) communication system that brings seamless situational awareness to first responders. WAMS works in cooperation with JPL’s AUDREY (Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction & Synthesis) system that uses human-like artificial intelligence to understand the needs of first responders and incident managers. WAMS is composed of wearable devices called sensor nodes that connect to IoT sensors, as well as controller software that works with both local and remote AUDREY agents in the cloud to provide on demand communication and computing based on first responders’ needs.

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Chicago Long-Term Evolution (LTE)

The completed Chicago LTE pilot leveraged existing investments and infrastructure through collaboration with the Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to allow first responders to see what happens if they are in an urban area with high-speed, real-time access to law enforcement video information over the public safety broadband. This effort served as a proof of concept and was completed in the in the spring of 2015.

Related Publications, Videos & News

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