Broadband spectrum has been set aside for public safety use in both Canada and the US. The plan is to use an LTE network on that spectrum to allow public safety access to modern, broadband communications infrastructure that is secure and dedicated.

2014-10-07 10.52.31CommandWear is working with companies developing products and organizations testing these products so that when the Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) becomes available we will be ready. We recently conducted tests at StarSolutions, a local Vancouver company that provides the IMPAC (pictured) portable LTE network which operates on one of the 700 MHz bands allocated to the PSBN. The purpose of the testing was to make sure that CommandWear’s situational awareness product works in this environment both in an urban and in a remote area where there is no internet connectivity. Testing was performed using Motorola’s LEX 700 smartphones running Android 4.2. A special version of CommandWear’s Communicator app was deployed onto the Android device.

Scenario 1

The CommandWear Hub (server) was running in cloud configuration. The IMPAC device was connected to the internet via StarSolutions internal network. During the testing CommandWear employees used the Commander App on a laptop to communicate with others walking around outside the offices. Messages were sent from the Commander over Band 14 to each Communicator, where the messages were successfully received and acknowledged. The Hub recorded all location and messaging information for later playback.

Motorola LEX 700smallScenario 2

The Hub was running in a self contained configuration, with no internet connectivity. The scenario modelled a situation where the system would be deployed in a remote area where no internet connectivity was available.

The map data on the Commander app was cached locally, though in a future deployment, local map support would be used. s in the cloud-based scenario, the Communicator was loaded onto the LEX 700 phones, and the Commander ran a series of communications tests while the phones were carried outside at distances up to 500m from the IMPAC node.

Summary and Observations

  • CommandWear’s situational awareness platform performed flawlessly during the testing.
  • The Motorola LEX 700 version of Android did not have a typical commercial smartphone profile, which resulted in some workarounds being applied to the Communicator app. In future releases these workarounds will be built into the product.
  • In the urban area distances were constrained by buildings and trees. The IMPAC system was placed on the ground. With a vehicle mount in a rural area with antennae roof mounted distances would be expected to be much higher.

We want to thank StarSolutions and the team at SFU for their help and support in this testing.