Connected: Ad-Hoc Wireless Networks for Public Safety Communications

Situation:

With recurring limitations of deployment time, technical expertise and communications system coordination complexities, previous public safety networks are typically outdated for current demands. An area like Dallas Fort. Worth has a crucial, growing need for data connectivity and mobility in its public safety network. A more streamlined public safety network increases the opportunity for strategic, on-site disaster response. With increased communications possibilities, officials are more capable to deploy necessary assets to ensure the safety of their millions of inhabitants.

To provide connectivity for event communications and to combat threats to the city, Ft. Worth required a better solution: a highly efficient, rapidly deployable public safety network; one that could operate wirelessly, seamlessly, and securely within the city. This required the exchange of real-time data, video and communications feeds between military, police, and city officials for crucial decision-making in the event of a disaster or attack. A more effective public safety network could increase interoperability between different agencies and establish a secure, robust, private connection for critical communications while remaining less expensive than other options.

Ft. Worth’s emergency communications requirements presented several challenges. The city needed to be able to rapidly deploy the mobile command center to any site across the area and initiate communications in under 10 minutes with non-technical personnel. In addition, the wireless platform needed to transmit HD live video feeds of disaster areas for strategic communications between headquarters and officials in the field.

Solution:

BATS provided an adaptive microwave link utilizing four BATS antenna systems, which were configured to deliver data communications to Ft. Worth’s Mobile Communications Center. The command vehicle was outfitted with radio system equipment, an on-board generator and workspace used for on-site support of Police and Fire operations during significant events.

BATS utilized the BTS platform to design a nomadic wireless backhaul link that is able to meet the bandwidth requirements needed for real time voice and data communications for mobile LTE network Cell-on-Wheels (COW) deployments. The links were achieved by placing dedicated point to point (PTP) radios, like the Cambium PTP650, on both sides of the link to transport high-speed; low-latency voice and data communications.

Three DVM-50 BATS systems were placed among two nearby tower sites to provide coverage to the city. Two DVM-50 systems were placed at city radio towers in North Beach, while the remaining DVM-50 was mounted at the Rolling Hills site. A BTS-50 Quick Deploy (QD) antenna system was mounted on a 70-foot mast on Fort Worth’s E-Node B LTE site vehicle.

As a result of the clever planning and engineering of the team at BATS, its partners, and public safety officials, this network is able to deliver an optimized broadband connection in less than a minute with a throughput of up to 200 Mbps and minimal latency.

Combined, this configuration provides operators in Ft. Worth with 360° PTP coverage, allowing for a fully functional public safety network with redundant operations centers in the event of a wide-scale attack or natural disaster. These locations serve to transmit data, communications and live video feed to police, military and public safety officials; providing the crucial data needed for essential asset deployment and decision-making.