Tag Archive for UCLA

UCLA Lab Focuses on New Technology for First Responders

Public safety has made news headlines again as President Obama urged Congress to approve a national public safety broadband network during his State of the Union address. Those of us in public safety are well aware of this need. At the same time, it’s imperative we know about other efforts that are underway to push public safety forward.

At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the Public Safety Network Systems Laboratory held its first workshop in December. As I mentioned in a blog post last year, this lab offers third-party, unbiased testing and analysis of current and future public safety technologies.

The laboratory, of which Raytheon was its first partner, is dedicated to advancing public safety through six goals that focus on the development of networks and operations technologies, analysis of LTE technologies, adoption of devices such as smartphones, and establishment of standards for interoperable network systems.

The research team’s initial projects will focus on some of the most pressing issues first responders face as departments switch to commercial wireless technologies. They’ll analyze and design adaptive power and adaptive rate scheduling for wireless and cellular networks; look at wireless systems under severe fading scenarios in urban and indoor areas; and develop apps for smartphones.

Over the long term, public safety will also benefit from the creation of a Public Safety Research Trust. This trust is envisioned as a 501(c)(3) charter organization dedicated solely to public safety. It would provide a neutral middle-ground for public safety organizations, research centers and industry to invest in real solutions – not just products. Industry membership dues, research grants and fundraising would ensure the trust remains independent and self-sustaining for years to come.

This is a bold vision and one that’s already being embraced by those who attended the lab’s first counterterrorism workshop. Among the attendees were representatives from the FBI, LAPD, Los Angeles World Airports, City of Los Angeles Emergency Management, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the University of Southern California’s (USC) CREATE Homeland Security Center.

But it needs you too. First responders are well aware of the challenges they encounter in the field. Now there’s a world-class research institution working to bring you solutions.

If your agency, department or company is interested in joining the Public Safety Research Trust, contact me on Twitter @mikebostic.

PART 2: An active shooter terrorizes a military facility. An armed suspect with a bomb-like device strapped to his body enters LAX Terminal 4. A suspect with a deadly gas device is about to walk into a state building. What equipment and information would you want in a crisis? Find out what public safety leaders attending the UCLA Public Safety Network Systems Laboratory workshop envisioned as the technologies of the future.

Related post:
Bostic, Mike. March 17, 2011. From Internet to Interoperability: New UCLA Research to Benefit Public Safety Agencies

From Internet to Interoperability: New UCLA Research to Benefit Public Safety Agencies

As a former police officer with the LAPD, watching the television footage of Japan struggling to emerge from the triple disaster of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant malfunctions strikes close to home and serves as a sober reminder about the importance of an interoperable communications system for first responders.

Now that the FCC has decided that all 700 MHz public safety mobile broadband networks must use Long Term Evolution (LTE), cutting-edge technology can be used to protect the public.

As the skeletal frames of a national public safety network begin to take shape, public safety will benefit from some of the best minds in the field – including researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles.

UCLA has recently announced that the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is establishing a partnership with Raytheon to create the UCLA Center for Public Safety Network Systems. This center will help lead the way in the innovation and advancement of public safety technologies and standards. As the center’s first funder, Raytheon will provide a research grant of $1 million over three years.

Without question, the public safety field will benefit from UCLA’s extensive network experience. The university’s depth of knowledge in networking technology is unparalleled as it holds the enviable claim to history of being the birthplace of the Internet. UCLA engineering students and facility have also contributed to some of the biggest technological advancements in the last century, from blueprints for establishing a space station in the 1950s to the world’s first reverse osmosis plant and hybrid gas-electric vehicles.

With its prestigious reputation and first-rate research facilities, the UCLA Center for Public Safety Network Systems will attract leading experts across academia, industry and public safety agencies who will study open architecture options, broadband applications and standards-based systems of communications. This research, in turn, will complement any research and development that’s being conducted by corporations. For example, researchers at corporate R&D departments like Raytheon’s new Public Safety Regional Technology Center, which is opening in Los Angeles County this summer, will easily be able to tap into the findings at the UCLA center.

Perhaps the UCLA Center for Public Safety Network Systems’ most important function will be to serve as a neutral space for assessing products and networks, and establishing industry standards. For public safety, the next step is an integrated LTE communications network. As we enter this new phase, companies, researchers and public safety officials will all benefit from research that places the safety and interests of citizens first.