NIST Awards $2.99M to Commercialize DHS S&T-Developed Interoperable Public Safety Communications System Latest Industry News | by Deanna Parenti July 01,2021

blog-image

28-Jun-2021 11:05 AM EDT, by Homeland Security’s Science And Technology Directorate

Newswise — WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded $2,988,950 in a new round of funding for new interoperable communication systems for public safety. Initially funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), through its Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program, Catalyst Communications Technologies of Forest, Virginia, was provided this Phase III SBIR award for commercialization of its interoperable communications solution.

S&T previously provided Phase I and Phase II SBIR funding to Catalyst to develop interworking solutions for land mobile radio (LMR) and long-term evolution (LTE) communication systems for public safety. Catalyst established a roadmap for effective interworking during Phase I and is just now concluding Phase II work building prototypes for a variety of LMR systems and a public safety-grade dispatch console that seamlessly supports both LMR and LTE.

The Phase III award from NIST will allow Catalyst to continue the work begun at S&T in 2018 to commercialize a standards-compliant solution that will permit new mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) applications on LTE mobile phones to communicate with both existing subscribers of public safety LMRs and dispatchers.

“First responders rely on interoperable communication tools to make life-saving decisions. S&T’s partnership with Catalyst, and soon their continued work with NIST, are steps toward ensuring that public safety using MCPTT apps on LTE devices can seamlessly communicate with counterparts on their LMRs,” said S&T Program Manager Norman Speicher. “The last thing they should have to consider when responding to an incident is whether they are able to reach out to fellow responders—that should be a given.”

NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division provided the funding under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. This award is part of PSCR’s three-pronged approach to improving LMR to broadband (LTE/5G) capabilities and providing them to first responders. This SBIR effort represents a Radio over Internet Protocol/bridging systems interface technology approach; the other two efforts support Project 25 Radio 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Interworking Function development and the creation of software-defined radio capabilities to bridge broadband with legacy LMR systems.

“Commercialization is a key priority for NIST and the Department of Commerce,” said PSCR Division Chief Dereck Orr. “This SBIR effort not only provides public safety with another capability to bridge their existing mission critical voice systems with new broadband systems, but it also represents a significant investment in a small American company to put innovative products in the marketplace.”

Finding interoperable communication solutions for public safety is a priority issue for S&T. Multiple vendors have developed communication tools between LMR and LTE platforms for public safety. Trying to communicate among multiple LMR systems from different vendors during public safety events has often created barriers to effective first responder emergency response. S&T’s Office of Mission and Capability Support and the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility Technology Center have been working to achieve interoperability with partners like Catalyst.

The S&T, Catalyst and NIST collaboration is a step closer to implementing and standardizing an interface to successfully enable interoperable MCPTT networks over both LMR and LTE. These efforts will help ensure that LMR, LTE and the next generations of communication technology enable first responders to connect instantly and effectively.

Source: NIST Awards $2.99M to Commercialize DHS S&T-Developed Interoperable Public Safety Communications System

About Author

Deanna Parenti

Deanna is from Frederick, MD. She attended Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Professional Writing and minor in Fine Arts. While at Juniata she worked as a Juniata Assistant Professional Writer for the Provost.

This experience then led her to work as a journalist for Arts Help and a volunteer grant writer for Team Hope after graduating. In her free time, Deanna enjoys volunteering, making pottery, and getting outside.

Tags

Related Blog

FirstNet, Built With AT&T, Teams With First H.E.L.P. to Support First Responders in Lorain County With #ResponderReadiness Training Latest Industry News | by Taylor Thomas 2022-05-06

First H.E.L.P. (Honor, Educate, Lead and Prevent) and FirstNet®, Built with AT&T, are teaming up to provide first respon...

Iowa Radio System Performs During Record Tornadoes Latest Industry News | by Chris Lougee 2022-03-17

When four devastating tornadoes struck near Des Moines, the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System (ISICS) p...

Why are Critical Communications Important in the Face of Climate Change? Latest Industry News | by Deanna Parenti 2022-01-20

Only a few weeks ago on December 11, 2021, tragedy struck communities throughout Kentucky. From the 11th to the 12th an...

Signup for Latest Updates and Blog