Emergency Services Real-Time Emulation

First Responders Network Analysis

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EXata is the perfect tool for simulating an emergency communications network and performing “what-if” analysis as towers fail and power outages bring nodes down. It has the benefit of performing analysis and verifying competing equipment suppliers’ claims before making a substantial investment in network infrastructure, thus paying for itself many times over. It can optimize the locations of antennas taking into account terrain and urban environments. It also includes tools that are affected by degraded network performance.

Pinellas County, FL was evaluating proposals to replace an aging radio communications network used by their emergency response personnel with a new advanced 802.16-based mesh system that utilized the 4.9 and 5.8 GHz spectrum and determined EXata was the best product for the project. SCALABLE performed network modeling and simulation for Pinellas County’s unique, integrated high-speed emergency response network. The High Speed Data Communications System (HSDCS) addressed the need for interoperable communications among Public Safety First Responders, and allow them to directly access their data networks, communications centers, sensors and other sensitive information that is critical in responding to emergencies and natural disasters. SCALABLE developed models that predicted the performance of competing mobile and fixed vendor technologies utilizing the 4.9 GHz Public Safety and 5.9 GHz Intelligent Transportation Systems bands. These models included wireless mesh (802.11s) and WAVE (wireless access in vehicular environments) (802.11p). The simulated results were validated against measured performance of prototype installations of candidate systems, and showed excellent correlation. Real-time emulation performed in EXata showed that significant cost savings could accrue to the county if nodes were deployed as per results predicted by the detailed simulation, rather than vendor recommendations which were over engineered.

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