MCP Insights

Public Safety Drones are Worth Pursuing, Despite the Challenges

Posted by Glenn Bischoff on May 3, 2019 11:00:00 AM

The concept of drones—also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—dates back to August 1849 when Austrian soldiers attacked the city of Venice with hot-air balloons filled with explosives. The campaign largely was unsuccessful; in fact, ill winds blew many of the balloons back toward the soldiers who launched them.

Nearly a century later, in 1944 during World War II, Japan embarked on the little-known Fu-Go campaign that involved launching about 9,000 balloons laden with incendiary bombs; the balloons were supposed to waft across the Pacific Ocean and then start forest fires in the western United States to spark panic amongst the citizenry. This campaign also was unsuccessful.

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Topics: Next Generation 911 Networks, Technology

This Weekend's GPS Rollover Event Requires Public Safety Communication's Attention

Posted by Dennis Matzen on Apr 5, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Global Positioning System (GPS)-based time sources are used throughout the public safety sector to synchronize a wide array of systems and equipment, including radio consoles, voice recorders, and computer-aided dispatch, fire alarm and video surveillance systems. Such time sources, known as master clocks, also ensure that every system used by a public safety agency generates an accurate, consistent timestamp for every emergency event that requires a law enforcement, fire/rescue and/or emergency medical services (EMS) response.

An event that will occur in two days—Saturday, April 6—threatens to throw things out of sync, at least to some degree. GPS marks time by transmitting signals that indicate the current week and the number of seconds into that week. That data is then converted by the various systems and equipment into the more recognizable format of year, month, day and time of day.

Because the field that represents the current week is a 10-bit binary number, a total of 1,024 weeks can transpire—roughly 19.7 years—before GPS resets the week value to zero. In the world of GPS, this time period is known as an epoch. The first epoch began on January 6, 1980 and rolled over on August 21, 1999; the second epoch will roll over in two days.

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Topics: Industry News, Technology

Public Safety Cloud Solutions: Clear Sailing Ahead

Posted by Chad Brothers on Mar 8, 2019 11:29:03 AM

Do not be alarmed—those are not storm clouds on the horizon.

What you are seeing is the front line of cloud-based solutions entering the 911 technology marketplace. While cloud-based computing in its current form has been used effectively for more than a decade in non-public-safety markets, the 911 community has been glacier-like in adopting this technology. This largely is because 911 officials have been reticent to trust that cloud-hosted solutions can meet the rigorous demands of operating 24 x 7 x 365 with high reliability and availability—which is essential in a 911 center. 

However, cloud solutions have proved that they can achieve this high standard with other mission-critical entities, such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Defense missile systems. They also have proved to be quite advantageous from implementation, maintenance, scalability, disaster-recovery and cost perspectives.

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Topics: Technology Procurement and Integration, Technology, Integrated Public Safety Communications

MCP's Top Eight Public Safety Predictions for 2019

Posted by Morgan Sava on Jan 10, 2019 1:00:00 PM

What trends are expected to disrupt the public safety sector in 2019?

For 911 and emergency response organizations, it has never been more critical to stay ahead of the curve. In this post, Mission Critical Partners' (MCP) subject-matter experts offer their take on the advancements that will have the greatest impact on public safety’s transformation this year.

1. 5G Will Significantly Expand, Opening the Door for Transformative Capabilities that are Limited Today by Wireless Bandwidth.

Dave Sehnert, Director of Innovation and Integration (Twitter: @NG911Consultant)

“5G is expected to expand in 2019 beyond its current limited deployment, and the first wave of smartphones for 5G networks also is expected this year. 5G technology offers speeds that are 10–20 times faster than 4G LTE, and latency is reduced to a few milliseconds. 5G’s impact extends to public safety and other fields that increasingly rely on high-speed connections. Last year, one wireless carrier announced the creation of a 5G First Responder Lab that will serve as an incubator and testing ground for innovative technologies that use 5G and can be deployed for public safety use cases. With 5G, public safety communications finally will benefit from a full spectrum of new and increasingly prevalent technologies, such as sensors, wearables, smartphones, smart buildings, facial-recognition systems and drones, to name a few. The integration of data from these applications into the emergency response ecosystem will create increased situational awareness, reduced response times, and ultimately, the potential for more lives saved.”

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Topics: Next Generation 911 Networks, Network Evolution, FirstNet, Operations, Staffing, Technology, Mission Critical Technology

MCP Helps Butler County, PA Maximize the Value of a New Radio System While Also Boosting Coverage, Capacity and Interoperability

Posted by Morgan Sava on Nov 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Butler County, PA’s radio system was facing end-of-life and had begun to experience reduced reliability. As a county the requires reliable mission-critical communications for 60 first responder agencies, it is crucial that the County’s land mobile radio (LMR) system, and the network supporting it, be available whenever and wherever it needs to be. In addition to decreased reliability the system also faced several other challenges that led the County to make the decision to replace it, including:

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Topics: Technology, Land Mobile Radio

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MCP Insights by Mission Critical Partners is the online destination for public safety leaders to expand their knowledge, stay abreast of trends, and discover innovative ideas to help implement change that will advance the industry... Because the mission matters.

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