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PSCR Newsletter - May 2018

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Top Stories


2018 PSCR Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting

5 Changes to this year's Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting

  1. Concurrent conference tracks across six research areas
  2. Over 30 on-site demos
  3. Live Prize Challenge: VR Heads-Up Display
  4. Over seven hours of networking built in
  5. Winners Announced: Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight and Payload Challenge

Want to learn more? Visit our event page! 

"We're not doing the traditional 10-minute PowerPoint presentations... People are going to have a lot of opportunity to get down in the weeds, in depth, and understand what these [researchers] are working with" -Dereck Orr, PSCR Division Chief


Map that denotes the locations of PSIAP Award Recipients

See the scale of the PSIAP 2017 Awards

Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program awards are worldwide! See the scale through this interactive map, and explore what's going on in an area near you - or across the globe. Start exploring!

Research Updates


Public Safety Mission Critical Voice

New Paper on Mission Critical Voice QoE Mouth-to-Ear Latency Measurement Methods

Jesse M. Frey, Jaden K. Peiper, Silas T. Thompson

PSCR would like to highlight the publication of the Mission Critical Voice QoE Mouth-to-Ear (M2E) Latency Measurement Methods report. M2E latency describes the time it takes speech input in a voice communication transmit device to be output from a receiving device, and has been identified as a key component of quality of experience (QoE) in communications. NIST's PSCR division developed a method to measure and quantify the M2E latency of any communications system transmitting audio, with specific emphasis on push to talk (PTT) devices. This measurement method is the first step in establishing QoE key performance indicators (KPI) for mission critical voice (MCV) and a measurement system to quantify these QoE KPIs. Read the abstract here!


Highly Mobile Deployed Networks (HMDN) logo

New Report from the PSCR Highly Mobile Deployable Networks R&D Summit Report

PSCR is pleased to announce the publication of the HMDN R&D Summit Report. PSCR's Highly Mobile Deployable Networks (HMDN) team conducted a research and development summit on October 18-19th, 2017 that enabled stakeholders to provide input on public safety's requirements and desired outcomes for the "next generation deployable network." The summit hosted over 84 participants spanning industry, government, and academia. Topics included key goals and possible solutions for the desired future state of deployable systems for first responders. Deployable coordination, machine learning, and security were all topics discussed during the two-day summit. The report covers the latest information regarding the detailed gaps and solutions to two specific first responder operational use cases. Download the report here!

Grant/ Prize Updates



PerfLoc Competition Winners Announced

PSCR Would like to announce the results of the recently-completed Performance Evaluation of Smartphone Indoor Localization Application (PerfLoc) Challenge. The main goal of the PerfLoc project was to advance smartphone indoor localization capabilities through an extensive repository of smartphone sensor and RF signal data and a web-based performance evaluation tool. NIST provided competing algorithm developers an extensive data set on which to test competitors' analytical models. Competitors downloaded the NIST PerfLoc data and developed an Android indoor localization and tracking app, users uploaded the results of their algorithm (location estimates generated by the competing app) and NIST evaluated the performance of the app in real-time. The winning team, led by Professor Ruizhi Chen, was from Wuhan University in China. Other team members included Haojun Ai, Guangyi Guo, Jian Kuang, Xiaoji Niu, Xuesheng Peng, Xingyu Zheng, and Ge Zhu from Wuhan University and Tianxing Chu from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.  Congratulations to all teams for achieving such remarkable performance! See the Leaderboard!


User Interface - User Experience Portfolio

New PSIAP-UI Awards Coming Soon

PSCR concluded merit reviews of applications submitted to the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program - User Interface (PSIAP-UI) financial award released in November 2017. This latest grant program is supporting pioneers from academia and industry to address some of the most pressing challenges to fire fighters, paramedics, and law enforcement officers, including opportunities to develop and test technology related to public safety scenarios and environment simulation. The PSIAP-UI provides grants or cooperative agreements for the development and implementation of technology that will enable PSCR to test and measure effective user interfaces within an virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) environment. PSCR anticipates approximately $5,000,000 in new awards for PSIAP-UI projects that will enhance traditional VR/AR systems, produce more modular capabilities, and develop user interfaces that are adaptable to various scenarios. Learn more!


A man's torso in a suit selecting a lock off a transparent screen in front of them.

The Unlinkable Data Challenge Launches

PSCR is excited to introduce a new prize competition that invites data scientists and other solvers to propose new methods for improving differential data privacy. Launched on May 1st, The Unlinkable Data Challenge seeks to create new methods or improve existing methods of data de-identification that make safeguarding of privacy-sensitive data or personally identifiable information (PII) more secure. The first stage hosted on HeroX website asks for ideas and concept, while later stages executed on Topcoder will focus on the performance of developed algorithms. Learn More!



University of Washington logo

Award Recipients Anticipate Public Safety Network Simulation Module 

Award Recipients from the University of Washington--in collaboration with CTTC Barcelona--are exploring fundamental aspects of demand modeling for Public Safety Communications (PSC) networks, in terms of the key network Quality of Service (QoS) metrics. This research also facilitates the creation of a public safety simulation module within the open source ns-3 network simulator intended for the broader research community. When tested and released formally, researchers will be able to use this tool to conduct performance analysis studies of future public safety networks with a high degree of modeling fidelity. UW's work, entitled, Modeling, Simulation and Performance Evaluation for Future Public Safety Networks, will bring an example simulation scenario of a first responder incident to the  2018 Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting in June

Upcoming Events

PSCR Events



  • PSCR is hosting Open Innovation Opportunity Support Services Presolicitation Conference & Industry Day in Boulder this month to announce the upcoming solicitation for up to $50 million Blanket Purchase Agreement(s) for professional support services. The event will include an overview of these future opportunities, responses to questions submitted prior to the event, and information relevant to the goals and requirements of the PSCR division. Learn more!



PSCR Icon with words "2018 Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting"

2018 Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting

June 5-8, San Diego, CA
PSCR's 2018 Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting will be held in San Diego, CA, June 5-8, 2018, at the San Diego Convention Center. For the first time ever, this year's annual meeting features concurrent conference tracks. To add to the excitement, the final stages of a LIVE challenge will culminate at the conference and winners will be announced and showcased on the final day. Check back to our event page later this month for instructions on downloading the conference app!

Where else to find PSCR staff this summer:



  • NIST's john.garofolo [at] (subject: DHS%20VQiPS%20Conference) (John Garofolo) will moderate a session on Video Analytics in Public Safety on Wednesday, May 9 at the DHS VQiPS Conference in Albuquerque, NM. PSCR electronics engineer Sam Ray will be in attendance as well. (May 8-10)
  • Later this month, PSCR electronics engineer maxwell.maurice [at] (subject: Connect%20%28X%29%20Connectivity%20Expo) (Max Maurice) will join a panel discussing operational problems, technical gaps, and potential solutions that form the Next Generation Deployable LTE Network at the Connect (X) Connectivity Expo in Charlotte, NC. (May 21-24)
  • PSCR's Scott Ledgerwood is attending AWE--the world’s largest international event for augmented reality, wearable computing, gesture devices, and the Internet of Things. (May 30-June 1)
  • Another place to find john.garofolo [at] (subject: IEEE%20CVPR%20Conference) (John Garofolo) this summer is the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. On Monday, June 18, he'll speak at a workshop on AI Cities concerning computer vision, video analytics, and public safety. (June 18-22)

PSCR in the News


Jack Lewis is showing Sandra Wendelken how to use VR

Dereck Orr's Interview with Mission Critical Magazine's Sandra Wendelken

Ms. Wendelken stopped by the Boulder HQ for a site tour, lab visit, and live demos. NIST's Jack Lewis shows her how to use the VR heads up display for a rescue mission (pictured). The PSCR VR demo will be live at the the June Stakeholder Meeting. Read the story!


Photo of Dereck Orr

IWCE's Urgent Communications Podcast Interview with Dereck Orr

Love podcasts? Listen in as Donny Jackson talks with Dereck Orr about the exciting changes taking place at this year's June Stakeholder meeting. Hear the story!

The PSCR Mission

PSCR is driven towards advancing public safety communications technologies by accelerating the adoption and implementation of the most critical communications capabilities to ensure the public safety community can more effectively carry out their mission to protect lives and property during day-to-day operations, large scale events, and emergencies.

Created April 27, 2018, Updated August 1, 2022