CTC has a long history advising governments on their public safety networking needs. Our staff has a deep understanding of the highly specialized and unique functional demands these networks must meet, and we have planned and designed public safety networks with a full range of communications technologies.
Our expertise ranges from in-depth needs assessment and requirements projection to specifying and procuring fiber, wireless, and microwave resources for public safety and homeland security needs. In addition, we have conducted user requirements analyses, cost modeling, system planning, system component specifications, performance modeling, implementation oversight, system certification, acceptance testing, and facilities inspections.
We have helped numerous clients secure federal grants in support of public saftey networking initiatives.
CTC provided the City of Annapolis with a wireless broadband infrastructure plan to address the city’s public safety needs. The report included both a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of current wireless technologies and a list of evaluation characteristics to weigh when deciding on what goals and functionality the network should satisfy. Based on a needs assessment and feasibility analysis of existing municipal infrastructure, our team provided engineering design recommendations for the deployment of a municipal wireless network. We have maintained a relationship with Annapolis and have provided support during the request for proposal process to select a vendor and construct the network.
Anne Arundel County, MD
CTC prepared system-level design recommendations and cost estimates for an extensive, county-wide system to support interactive and on-demand video training communications for the County’s fire department. The system design leveraged the County’s existing fiber-optic communications network, which connects all Fire Department facilities, and incorporated capabilities to enhance emergency collaboration and routine staff meetings to minimize wasted travel time for key personnel. We also developed a design for a video presentation and conferencing system for the Fire Department’s operations system, intended to support communications and coordination among key personnel during an emergency situation. The system will also support routine training and briefings.
Carroll County, MD
CTC assessed the feasibility of constructing a mobile video production vehicle to support live remote broadcasts over the County’s public, educational, and governmental (PEG) cable channels, and potentially to serve as a mobile communications hub and control room for emergency communications. Our team prepared a baseline system-level design to identify the basic functionality possible within the target price range, with several optional design components identified.
State of Delaware
CTC has provided communications engineering consulting services to the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) for almost 20 years. Most recently, our engineers and business analysts wrote the statewide master plan for deploying an integrated broadband fiber and microwave network. We have also advised the State on its statewide 700 MHz mobile data network, including a requirements analysis, propagation studies, and system design. CTC is overseeing the deployment of a 4.9 GHz point-to-multipoint wireless network for traffic device interconnection and public safety communications, acting essentially as an extension cord from the fiber network to critical and high-bandwidth devices.
In a previous DelDOT engagement, our team developed specifications for and oversaw the implementation of a mobile traffic camera system utilizing standards-based 802.11b wireless Ethernet transmission and MPEG-2 video encoding for flexible deployments in construction zones and emergency situations.
CTC engineers have also supported the implementation and operation of DelDOT’s Travelers Advisory Radio System (TARS). We acquired and upgraded an existing AM radio station for DelDOT to provide traffic information coverage in urban areas in the Wilmington corridor. Our team designed a statewide repeater network utilizing co-channel synchronized transmitters in areas not covered by the primary station. Our design employed innovative technologies, including GPS synchronization, IP-monitored field devices, and backbone fiber optic transmission technology to provide a common audio program format from the main traffic center. We are providing ongoing maintenance and FCC compliance oversight on the statewide network.
District of Columbia
CTC is the technical and business adviser to the District in its planning for the FirstNet national wireless public safety broadband network, and is the technical lead in the District’s FirstNet State and Local Implementation Grant Program. Among our tasks are a comprehensive assessment of the wireless communications needs of all District public safety departments and agencies.
In an earlier engagement, our team performed a business case and technology analysis for DC-Net, a fiber optic telecommunications network that provides voice and data services for the District government. The network consists of resilient, interconnected fiber rings that will eventually connect more than 400 government buildings in the District, including Police Department facilities, the Emergency Management Agency, and Fire Department radio towers.
CTC’s independent assessment analyzed public safety, governmental, and educational uses of the network. The project tasks included asset mapping and network description; cost comparison to leased/managed services; functional and technical comparison between dark fiber and alternatives; analyzing the ability to resell to other entities; identifying support mechanisms; and recommending business practices.
In a separate engagement, CTC designed a neutral-host DAS network to enable the District to use its districtwide fiber to distribute wireless signals. Our team then worked with the District to develop a program for installing commercial, public safety, and Wi-Fi wireless systems in its key facilities. This $10 million, five-year program will improve wireless communications in as many as 60 District-owned buildings.
Additionally, CTC assisted in developing a strategy for the use of small-cell technology, in which cellular carriers use poles and rooftops owned by the District to increase the density of their high-speed 4G LTE networks and deliver better service. We helped the District move to the forefront of cellular deployment technology by developing a plan for standardizing equipment and space utilization for hundreds of proposed tower sites. Our plan will allow the District to maximize profits, reuse sites efficiently, and maintain sites more easily. This work will also pave the way for streamlined cooperation between the municipal government and the carriers to maximize tower deployments and create denser coverage.
Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
CTC provided support during the RFP process for MTA’s Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) Detection Systems Demonstration Project. Our team performs request for proposal (RFP) document review and editing as well as ongoing revision support. We also supported the vendor review and selection process by drafting addenda in response to vendor questions, reviewing proposals based on non-technical evaluation criteria, and participating in vendor interviews.
National Capital Region (NCR) Interoperability Program
CTC provided the concept, business case analysis, engineering design, and project management for the National Capital Region (NCR) Interconnection Network—a 120-mile public safety network interconnecting 19 fiber-optic based government networks in the greater Washington, D.C. region. This network was conceived as a backbone for interoperable communications that could take advantage of existing fiber infrastructures the governments already controlled.
Our team has provided engineering and consulting services to the Fairfax County Department of IT in support of the NCRnet/ICI since 2009. We have delivered strategic planning, project management, and engineering services to support the physical expansion of the network and the scoping and specifications for operational support. We have also supported the rollout of public safety applications on the network, including developing and recommending procedures to support the processes involved.
We have supported the development of a series of governance documents that were intended to formalize service levels, mutual support among participating jurisdictions, and policies. CTC also drafted the MOU adopted by the CIOs to support NCRnet. CTC has also supported developing operational policies, application rollout/change management procedures, interconnection agreements, and a range of other similar governance tasks. Additionally, CTC has conducted specialized studies in response to identified strategic needs such as feasibility studies for additional builds, business continuity and risk analysis, and feasibility study for connecting NCRnet to a regional data center.
Our involvement with this project began immediately after 9/11, when we were asked by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments CIOs to evaluate the feasibility of such a network; that study later served as the basis of the successful grant application to the Department of Homeland Security. We were also asked to analyze the business cases for build vs. lease for each portion of the network.
Andrew Afflerbach, CTC’s Director of Engineering, served as lead engineer and technical architect for planning and developing NCRnet. Our team performed a comprehensive review of existing technologies and capabilities in the individual jurisdictions, identified potential synergies and standards, and analyzed the jurisdictions’ needs for security, availability, and data exchange. NCRnet’s physical build-out phase was completed in 2010, followed by network electronics infrastructure upgrades that were completed in 2012.
We have been a trusted adviser and management support to the government project leadership, providing many roles including program management.