Law Enforcement Technology

JUN 2019

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30 LAW ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGY JUNE/JULY 2019 Officer.com C O M M S , R A D I O A N D D ATA C O N N E C T I V I T Y E very day, it seems a new PSA announces a jurisdiction's over- haul plan. These are major under- takings costing millions of dollars which stresses the importance of understanding the basics of what needs to change and how to move for- ward with a project of this size. Coverage and capacity are the two factors driving a lot of the need for change according to Mike Leonard, Mid-Atlantic Territory VP, Motorola. The third piece is interoperability. "[P25] is a more refined standard that also has driven a lot of need to migrate. The fourth piece is obsolescence and systems going out of support. Vendors can no longer get the parts. The life cycle is 15 or 20 years, but sometimes they are obsolete in three. Some legacy systems sold in the late 90s can no lon- ger be supported." Brian Melcer, program manager, Mission Critical Partners (MCP) adds reliability to the list. He states that many of MCP's clients are required to migrate to a new system because their current frequency band had to be vacated or they were unable to get additional frequencies. Listing all the components of a radio system can make eyes glaze over. It can seem overwhelming. Broken down to some basic elements it can be better understood. "There are a few components," explains Leonard. "The actual tower sites. The engineering team will look at what the coverage needs are. In-building is an important aspect that has come up over the years. Then, the microwave backhaul links all of those sites together." This transports the traffic (voice, video and data) from point to point linking the sites. "An antennae network," he continues. "At a minimum, you'd have a receive and a transmit side, and combiners. A gener- ator and UPS (uninterruptable power supply). A system core which is the brains. A lot of IP equipment"servers, routers"that controls the network. A base station with your channels that are programmed with the appropriate frequencies. The dispatch console and all the subscriber units, the mobile and portable radios. Those are the key components of a radio system." The Process of Overhauling Dispatch and Radio Systems This daunting task can cost millions and easily become overwhelming. Let's go over the basics. By Michelle Perin Image provided by Motorola Solutions Inc.

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