Social Emergency Response and Public Safety Network Interoperation: Reflections on the RNC, LTE, and Advanced Situational Awareness Systems

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Dec 12, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Article
:

Social Emergency Response

and Public
Safety Network Interoperation
: Reflections
on the RNC, LTE, and Advanced Situational
Awareness Systems

Joshua Chamot
, National Science
Foundation

Date: 15 February

2013

Time: 04:10 PM ET




P
hoto
s

courtesy of AP Images and
Dr. Ed Nanno,
WiGiT Lab @ Syracuse University









(Image courtesy of Joe Treglia, WiGiT Lab@Syracuse University)

The
s
e pictures illustrate 1)
The
R
epublican
N
ational
C
onvention, where an LTE test
was held in cooperation with Cisco and other partner firms
;
2)
The ‘Symphony of
Destruction’ emergency response training exercise,
also from August, 2012; which
included emergency managem
ent profes
sionals

from 44 New York State agencies;

as
well as 3) the Honorable Dale Meyerrose (Major General, ret., US Air Force) and
Syracuse University

doctoral student Joe Treglia (Special Advisor, Madison County
Sheriff’s Office) discussing the
ir evaluation pla
ns for the exercise, which also included
4) and 5) (simulated) plane on fire at Hancock Airport, Syracuse, New York, to 6)
inform design of

the NSF PFI
WiGiT
‘Advanced Situational Awareness System,’
which will debut at ‘Symphon
y of Destruction II,’ Fall 20
13
(1
st

prototype ‘Intelligent
Deployable Augmented Wireless Gateway,’ developed for ASAS, and capable of
interoperating across a wide range of frequencies and analog and digital
communication formats, for enhanced ‘social emergency re
s
ponse
,


shown in 6).

CREDIT:
Dr.
Ed Nanno,
Syracuse University


View full size image

As
transformative innovations supported by the National Science Foundation Division of
Engineering result in novel information and
communications technology advances, the public
safety
community is looking to capitalize on th
os
e changes
.

A recent article in ‘Emergency
Management’ magazine

LTE Test Provides Insight into Nationwide Public Safety Network
,’
By:
Margare
t Steen

and Jim McKay, published

on January 17, 2013

(
http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/LTE
-
Test
-
Nationwide
-
Public
-
Safety
-
Network.html

)


noted

that t
raditional public safety communication systems don’t provide services that
commercial users take for granted, such as data communication and the abil
ity to send pictures or
video.
A system tested in August at the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) i
n the
Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., area gave a glimpse into the possible future of
public safety
communications
. Public safety agencies in Pinellas an
d Hillsborough counties worked with
commercial vendors to test a Public Safety
Long Term Evolution

(LTE) network, which ran
under special te
mporary authority

from the FCC
.

Researchers brought together by

a
Partnership fo
r Innovation

award from the National
Science

Foundation supporting

the
WiGiT
t
eam
s (from
Syracuse University
, Virginia Tech, University of
Arizona, and Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as other partner campuses, companies,
and communities)

were invited to comment

on the RNC LTE test
.


The broad goals of this
NSF
award pro
gram are to pro
vide opportunities for
students

and faculty to engage in
research and to
expose them to the collaborative nature of the scientific endeavor by bringing together a core
group of faculty whose scientific pursuits complement each other and are
interdisciplinary in
nature.
The WiGiT team is discovering

h
ow to create new communication and information
-
sharing methods for ‘worst case scenario’ conditions, and devices for social emergency response.
Their view of the RNC LTE test was shared with Emergency Management magazine readers.


Interagency communicatio
n.

It’s great to work toward a network that lets public safety
agencies communicate easily. But this also changes traditional communication and can get
confusing. “When you involve police, fire, EMS, citizens and public utilities, it’s really hard to
manag
e,” said Joe Treglia of the Syracuse University Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed (WiGiT)
Lab and Ma
dison County Sheriff’s Office.
“The police have a chain of command, and it’s very
important that they follow that,” said Lee McKnight, professor of informati
on studies at
Syracuse University. “Now on the spot they’re supposed to be interacting in a new way. It does
require so
me rethinking of policy.”


Possible vulnerabilities.

If everyone moves to the same network, no one can communicate if
that goes down,

McK
night said. Hence, the WiGiT
team’s

emphasis on
designing resilience
through
interoperability across heterogeneous wireless

networks into their novel social
emergency response/Advanced Situational Awareness System prototypes, to be tested in
additional fi
eld exercises by public safety officials and community groups later in 2013.


Backward compatibility.
Not every local agency can swap its current technology for new
standards immediately. “No matter how wonderful 4G is, you don’t want to focus
just on that
,”
McKnight said.
“Look at backward compatibility,” said Roberto Montoya, CEO of VRC Corp.,
a WiGiT partner. “There’s always a county, unit or one of our allies that was a little slower. You
have to reach back to make sure you ca
n still communicate with t
hem.”
Focusing on the human
factors


how it’ll be used and how to get users on board


will be critical to the success of
whatever netw
ork is developed, Montoya said.
“Though hardware, software and our technology
will move us forward, until you get the mi
ndset of these communities to change, and then come
up with standard procedures that all can agree to, you won’t take full advantage of the great work
tha
t’s being done,” Montoya said.

About WiGiT
:


The National Science Foundation Partnerships for
Innovation Wireless Grid Inno
vation Testbed
project (WiGiT) research and evaluation efforts for an Advanced Situational Awareness System
for social emergency response are

led by Syracuse University,
University of Arizona, and
Rochester Institute of Technol
ogy. WiGiT

includes more than 90 campuses, companies, and
communities in its Virtual Organization. NSF PFI grants #0227879 and #0917973 support the
distributed experimental testbed conducting research on developing open specifications for
transformative wi
reless grids edgeware. Edgeware, a new class of software that works across
edge devices developed by WiGiT and its partners, enable machine to machine communication,
and people and content to machine interaction, without requiring a central server.

http://wigit.ischool.syr.edu


Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or reco
mmendations expressed in this material are those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See
the
Research in Action archive

You may use or reference this story with attribution and a link to

http://www.eme
rgencymgmt.com/safety/LTE
-
Test
-
Nationwide
-
Public
-
Safety
-
Network.html