The difficulty of intercommunication among first responders has been brought into the public eye recently due to tragedies such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and disaster efforts such as those following Hurricane Katrina. Law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services, along with other groups and agencies, often need to communicate with each other in the event of an emergency as well as in daily operations. The communication devices these agencies use are not normally compatible with other agencies' equipment because the devices use different technologies and operate at different frequencies. This is referred to as the problem of communication interoperability.
The goal of this project is to build a prototype system that provides communication interoperability between a minimum of eight voice communication technologies. The system will support wireless and wire line communication technologies. The communication technologies can be full duplex, half duplex or simplex. The system will have a battery backup to keep the system running in the case of a power outage. It will be enclosed in an equipment rack and shall be upgradeable to support new voice technologies. The system allows for user defined talk groups and two level priority scheme. The system shall receive an audio signal from a communication device, condition the signal, and route it to the communication devices in the user-specified talk group.
Explicit specifications and requirements for the system are given in the Statement of Work and Requirements found in the "Requirements" section of this web site.