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Overview of Georgia’s Interoperable Communications System . By Dr. Douglas Cobb (Presenter), Doug Cohen and Jay Sexton Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI ). Discussion Topics. Background – GTRI and Georgia Overview - LETPP Interoperable Communications Project Lessons Learned

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Overview of georgia s interoperable communications system l.jpg
Overview of Georgia’s Interoperable Communications System

By Dr. Douglas Cobb (Presenter), Doug Cohen and Jay Sexton

Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI)

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Discussion Topics

  • Background – GTRI and Georgia

  • Overview - LETPP Interoperable Communications Project

  • Lessons Learned

  • Questions

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GTRI and Project Team

  • Nonprofit applied research organization

  • Integral part of Georgia Tech

  • 1290 employees; 547 Research/Faculty – 72% hold advanced degrees

  • Project team from Communications Network Division (CND) of the Information Technology and Telecommunications Laboratory (ITTL)

  • CND develops and evaluates communications systems for the DOD; local, state, federal, and tribal governments; private industry; and others

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Georgia Background

  • Land Area: 57,906 Square Miles (Largest state east of the Mississippi River; 24th largest overall)

  • Population: 9,072,576 (2005 Census Bureau estimate)

  • Borders: 5 States (Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)

  • Coastline: 100 miles

  • Number of Counties: 159 (2nd Most)

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Georgia Background (Continued)

  • Over 55% of population lives in 28 counties of metro Atlanta

  • Majority of communications is VHF

  • Larger urban areas migrating to 800 MHz digital systems

  • Major Radio Infrastructure Vendors: Motorola, M/A-COM, Kenwood

  • Previous state-wide public safety communication efforts terminated before implementation

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LETPP Solution

  • Provides interoperable communications for first responders throughout the state

  • Uses existing Radio Frequency infrastructure

  • Achieves “on demand” interoperability through overlay additions to the current RF infrastructure: IP network backbone, IP network components and Mobile Communications Units

  • Allows interoperability between disparate radio system technologies

  • Will not increase RF coverage, channel capacity, eliminate technology obsolescence

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LETPP Solution

  • Interoperable communications for first responders at the local level

  • Interoperability with neighboring jurisdictions

  • Dispatch back-up capability with other agencies for continuity of operations

  • Dispatch conferencing with other departments and agencies

  • Interoperable communications state-wide in major events

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LETPP System

  • Is flexible and scalable

  • Achieves functionality with both fixed and mobile communications assets

  • Will be completed by December 2007

  • Is budgeted for approximately $11M

  • Will be administered by three working groups: Task Force Requirements Analysis Group, Technical Working Group, Operations Working Group

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Project Stakeholders

  • Georgia Sheriffs Association

  • Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police

  • Georgia Emergency Management Association (GEMA)

  • Georgia State Patrol (GSP)

  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI)

  • Georgia 9-1-1 Directors

  • Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs

  • Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)

  • Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI)

  • Local Governments

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Local Government/Agency Responsibilities

  • Make Facilities Ready for Equipment

  • Provide Own Radio Resources for Gateway Units

  • Obtain Necessary MOAs

  • Develop and Support System Operational Procedures

  • Support Training and Exercise Programs

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Network Enterprise

  • Georgia State Patrol - Business Owner & Network Administrator

  • Local Governments/Agencies – Operators

  • First Responders – End Users

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  • Technical and Financial Feasibility

  • Marketing

  • System Requirements

  • High-Level Project Planning

  • Procurement (RFQC and RFP)

  • Detailed Project Planning

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  • Managed by Procurement Officer in the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)

  • State of Georgia Procurement Process

  • Contract and Legal Support – GTA, Attorney General’s Office, GEMA

  • RFQC, RFP Development and Evaluation – GTRI (lead), GTA

  • Six calendar months

  • Controlling documents – contract, RFP, RFP Responses

  • No Protest

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Motorola MOTOBridge

  • Comprised of 4 basic components:

    • Operational Management Control (OMC) Server

      • Keeps track of network configuration and is used to manage entire system

      • Two redundant systems (main and backup)

    • Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) Server

      • Sets up calls on the system

      • Two redundant systems (main and backup)

    • Radio Gateway Unit (RGU)

      • Connects the radio systems into the network

      • Resides in every jurisdiction (usually in communications center)

    • Work Station Gateway Unit (WSGU)

      • Gives dispatcher access to the system

      • Resides in every jurisdiction (usually in communications center)

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MOTOBridge Technology

System A

System B


800 MHz










911 Dispatch

OMC Server

SIP Server

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Project Responsibilities

  • GEMA – Overall Program Management

  • GTRI – Project Management, Consulting Services

  • Motorola (Motorola Shops, SpaceNet) – Project Management, MOTOBridge Gateway Products & Services, Satellite Services

  • GTA (AT&T) – Project Management, Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Services

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  • Data network specifications

  • Network resource naming and addressing

  • Network security

  • Core site design

  • Mobile Communications Unit design

  • Training, technical support, test procedures, standard operating procedures

  • Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)

    • Methodology

    • Detailed design

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Project Evolution

  • Pilot Phase

    • 4 PSAPs

    • 1 MCU

    • 2 OMC Servers

    • 2 SIP Servers

  • Phase 1 (Additions)

    • 64 PSAPs

    • 1 MCU

  • Phase 2 (Funded Additions)

    • 37 PSAPs

  • Phase 3 (Estimated Additions)

    • 40 PSAPs

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PSAP Design &


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PSAP Design Activities

  • Site Walk by GTRI

    • Survey current power, data connectivity, space, and radio systems in use

    • Identify space, power, rack requirements, data connectivity and schedule required for LETPP

    • Identify Agencies dispatched

  • Interoperability Workshop facilitated by GTRI

    • PSAP staff internalizes interoperable needs through completion of Agency Interoperability Matrix (AIM)

    • Row 1 – Agencies Dispatched; Column 1 – Desired Interoperability; Cells – How accomplished

    • Assign Radio Resources by type and quantity to satisfy AIM

    • Create Interoperability Roadmap

© Copyright 2005-2007

Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0415


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Serial (RS232) (Enables Radio controls, Emergency Notification and Wireless Data)

4W+E&M/Tone Remote Control






800 MHz








1 to 8 interface Connections per RGU

LMR System


Serial (RS232)


800 MHz


RGU Interoperability

4W+Tone Remote Control

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AIM and RGU Notification and Wireless Data)

© Copyright 2005-2007

Georgia Tech Research Corp.

Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0415


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PSAP Investment Summary Notification and Wireless Data)

Project Provided:$132,000

  • PSAP Equipment

    • RGU, WSGU, Workstation, VHF Radio System

    • Network Connectivity

  • Common System Equipment (share)

    • OMC Servers, SIP Servers, MCUs

    • Network Connectivity

  • Common Services (share)

    • Procurement, Technical, Project Management, Training, Support

      Local Government Provided: $5,500 (average)

  • Control Stations, Dispatch Console Interfaces

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Workstation Installation Notification and Wireless Data)

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Rack Installation Notification and Wireless Data)

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MCU Notification and Wireless Data)

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MCU Notification and Wireless Data)

  • Radio Resources

    • 1 VHF repeater

    • 5 channel 800 MHz Trunking Capable Repeater System (MCU #1 only)

    • 1 Aviation Radio

    • 2 Amateur Radios

    • 2 800 MHz Control Stations

    • 2 VHF Control Stations

    • 2 UHF Control Stations

    • 1 Low Band Control Station

    • Cache of 25 800 MHz and 25 VHF portables

  • Operational Modes

    • Interconnected to LETPP MPLS via satellite

    • Free standing

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    System Notification and Wireless Data) Testing

    • Factory Acceptance Test

    • Site Tests (PSAP and Core)

    • Mobile Communications Unit Acceptance Test

    • Pilot Acceptance Test

    • Overall System Acceptance Test

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    Standard Operating Notification and Wireless Data)Procedures

    • PSAP (End User)

    • Core Sites (Network Administrator)

      • Business, Technical

    • Mobile Communication Unit

    • Gateway Vendor

    • IP (MPLS) Network

      • Reseller, Service Provider

    • Satellite Service Provider

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    Training and Education Notification and Wireless Data)

    Vendor Training

    • End Users (Train the Trainer)

    • System Administrators

    • System Engineers

    • MCU Operators

      LETPP Exercises

    • Local

    • Regional

    • State-wide

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    Marketing Notification and Wireless Data)

    • Presentations to Stakeholders

    • GEMA Newsletters

    • Project Kick-off Meetings

    • Presentations and demos at Georgia Emergency Management Conferences

    • Print media interviews and articles

    • Television interview and news clip

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    Coverage Map Notification and Wireless Data)

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    Interstate Interoperability Notification and Wireless Data)

    • Muscogee County – Phenix City, AL

    • Catoosa County – Chattanooga, TN

    • Columbia County – Aiken, SC

      (In Discussion)

    • Richmond County – SC (Palmetto 800 Network)

    • TBD County – Florida (Florida Interoperability Network)

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    Project Time Lines Notification and Wireless Data)

    • Feasibility Complete – 12/04

    • Project Start – 2/05

    • Procurement Complete – 9/05

    • Pilot Project Start – 11/05

    • Phase One Production Start – 7/06

    • Phase Two Production Start – 2/07

    • Phase Two Production Complete – 12/07

    • Phase Three Production (estimate) – 1/08 to 12/08

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    Lessons Learned Notification and Wireless Data)

    • Draw on the experience of others

    • Use executive sponsor to deal with political issues

    • Create a synergistic environment for combined project teams

    • Deliver consistent messages

    • Invite elected officials, local government administrators, public safety chiefs to project kickoff meeting

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    Lessons Learned Notification and Wireless Data)

    • Tune the implementation process periodically and with any significant change

    • Thorough documentation is critical to project success

    • Be prepared for delays due to redesign – system of systems

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    Lessons Learned Notification and Wireless Data)

    • Local radio shops are key to project success

    • Gateway training for shops should be timely with multiple representatives per shop

    • Expect implementation quality variations in shops - minimize with better documentation

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    Lessons Learned Notification and Wireless Data)

    • Involve local finance personnel in kickoff meetings and allow project time in the decision process for a board meeting

    • Involve the shops in client meetings, particularly interoperability workshops

    • Teach solution value by involving the client in the PSAP design process

    • Project should address technology, associated business processes and necessary organizational structure

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    Questions? Notification and Wireless Data)

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    Contact Information Notification and Wireless Data)

    Douglas Cobb – 404-407-6343

    [email protected]

    Doug Cohen – 404-407-6985

    [email protected]

    Jay Sexton – 404-407-6653

    [email protected]