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P25 Aviation Radio Training. Oxford Suites Boise, Idaho March 10-14, 2008. Welcome & Housekeeping. Why Interagency Fire is Requiring P25 Digital Equipment in Aviation. Frank Smith NIFC-FS Aviation Safety Inspector (Avionics). P25 Background.

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p25 aviation radio training

P25 Aviation Radio Training

Oxford Suites

Boise, Idaho

March 10-14, 2008

why interagency fire is requiring p25 digital equipment in aviation

Why Interagency Fire is Requiring P25 Digital Equipment in Aviation

Frank Smith


Aviation Safety Inspector (Avionics)

p25 background
P25 Background
  • A national standard for digital radio communication.
  • Created by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.
  • Specifications agreed upon by several communication companies and government organizations.
why was it created
Why Was It Created
  • Law enforcement agencies around the country were using proprietary digital radio systems.
  • These systems could not communicate with each other.
  • A deputy sheriff would have to roll their window down to talk to the local police.
federal involvement
Federal Involvement
  • Congress required the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a compliance assessment program (CAP) for P25 equipment.
    • Millions of dollars for first responder communications.
    • How to make these radio system interoperable?
    • NIST could create a standard or use an existing one.
    • NIST adopted P25.
    • Department of Homeland Security specifies what tests are important.
    • If P25 does not work, NIST will create a system that does.
p25 digital implementation
P25 Digital Implementation
  • Required by DOI & USDA ( and other federal agencies) for all new radio purchases.
  • Required by 1/1/2010 for interagency wildfire aviation.
  • Required by 1/1/2010 for all DOI aviation.
  • Required in 2005 for federal law enforcement.
  • FS non-fire operations (i.e. forest health) not required to implement P25*.
interagency wildfire requirement letter
Interagency Wildfire Requirement Letter

See www.fs.fed.us/fire/niicd/Hotsheet/Hotsheet.html

interagency fire p25 digital implementation
Interagency Fire P25 Digital Implementation
  • No waivers for contractors or fleet aircraft.
  • Contractors unavailable until they comply.
  • All analog-only radios are boat anchors.
  • If mission or contract requires two or more FM radios, then they all must be P25.
    • Can’t get by with one P25 & one analog
new narrowband fcc vhf fm frequencies
New Narrowband FCC VHF-FM Frequencies
  • FCC started issuing to states, local governments, and private organizations in 2005.
  • Narrowbanding from 15 kHz to 7.5 kHz channel spacing with 12.5 kHz bandwidth.
    • (Federal Gov’t - 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz spacing)
  • New 7.5 kHz narrowbanded frequencies incompatible with some existing radios.
new narrowband fcc vhf fm frequencies1
New Narrowband FCC VHF-FM Frequencies
  • Incompatibilities effect radios designed prior to 1997.
  • Radios manufactured after 1997 using a pre-1997 design also effected.
  • Known problems in Georgia, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
  • All states likely effected.
  • Examples: 151.1525, 158.7825, 159.2925
interagency wildfire requirement letter1
Interagency Wildfire Requirement Letter

See www.fs.fed.us/fire/niicd/Hotsheet/Hotsheet.html

new narrowband fcc vhf fm frequencies2
New Narrowband FCC VHF-FM Frequencies
  • Radios known to be 7.5 kHz incompatible
    • B/K: LPH & EPH
    • NAT: NPX138
    • Wulfsberg: 9600
    • Eureka Radio: ERS96000
new narrowband fcc vhf fm frequencies3
New Narrowband FCC VHF-FM Frequencies
  • Radios known to be 7.5 kHz compatible
    • B/K: GPH & DPH
    • Motorola: XTS2500 & XTS5000
    • Thales (Racal): P25
    • EF Johnson: 5113, 5123, & 5133
    • Datron: Guardian
    • Technisonic: TFM-138B & TDFM-136
    • NAT: NTX138 & NPX136D
Avionics P25

Jose Lopez

USDA Forest Service

National Interagency Incident Communications Division

National Interagency Fire Center

March, 2008

what is project 25
What is Project 25?

What is Project 25?

  • A joint development project to develop a public safety digital land mobile (LMR) standard.

Why are we (the Federal Government) using P25?

  • Congress mandated all federal agencies to change to 12.5 khz (narrowband) by Jan. 1st of 2005.
p25 phases
P25 Phases
  • P25- compliant technology is being deployed in several phases.
    • Phase 1: Radio systems operate in 12.5 kHz analog, digital or mixed mode.
    • Phase 2: Currently under development, will use 6.25 kHz bandwidth efficiency.
    • Phase 3: Currently under development, high-speed data for public-safety use.
benefits of p25
Benefits of P25
  • P25 has many various benefits
    • Interoperability:

Radios that are P25 compliant will allow users from different agencies or areas to communicate directly with each other.

    • Backwards Compatibility:

P25 radio standard is backward compatible with standard analog FM equipment.

    • Encryption Capability:

P25 Standard includes a requirement for protecting digital communications with encryption capability.

Over the Air Re-keying (OTAR)

benefits of p25 continued
Benefits of P25 Continued
  • Spectrum Efficiency:

P25 maximizes spectrum efficiency by narrowing bandwidths.

The RF spectrum is a limited resource used by every county in the world.

Spectrum efficiency frees up more channels for radio system use.


Benefits of P25 Continued

  • Improved Audio Quality:

P25 digital signals have greater voice quality over standard analog signals.

Audio is digitally encoded, so background noise typically present in analog systems is removed.

  • Enhanced Functionality:

P25 radio systems have signaling capabilities.

Allows a vast array of additional functions and features to be standard in any P25 radio system.

Selective calling, Talk Groups (TGID), NAC, emergency flags, GPS, other data.

analog tones vs p25 nac tgid
Analog Tones vs P25 NAC/TGID
  • Analog CTCSS Tones
    • 64 CTCSS Tones (standard & non-standard)
    • 83 DCS Codes
  • P25 Digital
    • 4096 NAC codes
    • 65535 TGID
  • A different way of doing the same thing
    • When you need a tone, use it
    • When you need a NAC/TGID, use it
analog tones vs p25 nac tgid1
Analog Modes

No tone

Tx only tone

Rx & Tx tone

P25 Digital Modes

Monitor mode (analogous to analog no tone)

NAC only


Analog Tones vs P25 NAC/TGID
p25 demo
  • Analog to Analog
  • Analog to Mixed-Mode (Shadow Channel)
  • P25 to P25
  • P25 to Analog
  • Analog to P25