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PSCR Newsletter - November 2018

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Funding Opportunities / Recent Awards / Grant Updates


Black and white image of point cloud data of a hotel in San Anotonio
Credit: European Commission

Over $750K in Awards for Point Cloud City

PSCR Awarded three applicants to the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program Point Cloud City funding opportunity totaling over $750,00. The City of Memphis, Enfield Fire Dept. No. 1, and Hancock County, Mississippi were each awarded funding to create annotated point clouds and 360 degree imagery datasets collected from a variety of building types in their local area. The resulting datasets from this award will be made available to the R&D community to accelerate research related to indoor mapping for public safety use cases. Learn more.


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

Prize Competition Winners Announced

PSCR has selected the top three winners of its first data challenge, Advancing Methods in Differential Privacy. The grand prize of $15,000 was awarded to a team from Georgia Tech. The runner-up team, from Purdue University (DPSyn), won $10,000 while the paper that earned honorable mention —a $5,000 award— came from a team at Westat Corporation. Each contestant submitted a concept paper proposing a mechanism to enable the protection of personally identifiable information while maintaining a dataset's utility for analysis. Learn more.


Image of people walking on a sidewalk with data numbers in the forefront

Up to $150K in Prizes for PSCR's Stage 2 Data Challenge

Just announced! The Differential Privacy Synthetic Data Challenge will entail a sequence of three marathon matches run on the Topcoder platform to collect, normalize, implement, and compare differentially private algorithms with the prospect of advancing research in the field of Differential Privacy. It is Stage 2 of the Unlinkable Data Challenge, though participation in Stage 1 is not required. This exciting data privacy competition comes with up to $150,000 in prizes! Learn more.



Image of two researchers pointing at a digital screen with public safety icons in the forefront and text that reads "America's First Responders Need Your Help"

New Prize Challenge Expected in Early 2019

The Public Safety Code-A-Thon — Launching soon! Across the globe, there is a need for software applications to transform the way first responders serve their communities. PSCR is currently designing a public safety code-a-thon to create and demonstrate early stage applications which provide next-generation capabilities for first responders to use in their everyday missions. This is a large-scale program currently in development and expected to launch in 2019 which will include contestant prizes, events in 10 cities across the U.S., as well as national and regional co-sponsors. Email PSprizes [at] (subject: Open%20Innovation%20at%20PSCR) to learn more and get involved.

Visit PSCR Open Innovation Funding Opportunities to view the other anticipated prize challenges for 2019.


PSCR Mission Critical Voice Research Portfolio icon

Coming Soon: the Mission Critical Voice Test Equipment Funding Opportunity

Wireless telecommunications service providers complete several overlapping testing processes prior to releasing new communications devices, including regulatory testing to meet government standards, industry certification by telecommunications industry forums, and user testing within their own laboratories. While the test standards and procedures processes meet the needs for commercial devices, they cannot ensure a device's proper performance for public safety purposes. PSCR wants to address this issue in a funding opportunity due to release in early 2019 via its Public Safety Innovation and Accelerator Program (PSIAP). 

Learn more about PSIAP, past award amounts, and more, and look out for a notice of funding opportunity announcement next quarter.

Results/ Products/ Outcomes


Highly Mobile Deployed Networks (HMDN) logo

New Document: Deployable Systems

Due to many requests from stakeholders about PSCR's Rapidly Deployable Research Platform (RDRP), another document has been created to provide more background on PSCR's newest system, the Airborne Deployable Research Platform (ADRP). The one-page flyer is intended to provide public safety stakeholders with an updated look at PSCR's work in deployable systems. Currently, PSCR owns and operates three independent deployable broadband systems with two additional systems to be added by the end of year. The ADRP is the group's smallest deployable system which allows for experiments to be performed with small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). Download the one-pager or view additional publications.


A screenshot of an excel spreadsheet list of certified devices

Resource Update: the NIST List of Certified Devices for FirstNet

Version 7.00 of the NIST List of Certified Devices for FirstNet is now available. Download the Excel Spreadsheet at the bottom of this page and click: "Read Only." You may also view the updated process document (PDF) here.


Department of Homeland Security Logo

New Application Available: the LTE Coverage Tool

The LTE Coverage Tool Application and software development kit (SDK) enable first responders and public safety personnel to survey and evaluate coverage by LTE networks in environments where incidents are ongoing or planned. DHS sponsored PSCR's research in this area to determine whether first responders could use an experimental Android application to provide a reliable assessment of in-building LTE coverage. They found that non-experts could quickly master the operation of this system to measure general LTE coverage quality using a standard smartphone.

Get the tool on Android.

Where to find PSCR staff this winter:

  • Speaking at IMMERSED November 8-9, 2018
    • PSCR Division Chief, Dereck Orr and PSCR award recipient, Jason Jerald (NextGen Interactions) will each speak at the future computing conference. You can follow the conversation on Twitter @GetImmersed #Immersed2018
  • Speaking at the Innovation & Opportunity Conference, November 8-9, 2018
    • PSCR Deputy Division Chief and Open Innovation Team Lead, Ellen Ryan, will speak on a panel about creative ways to drive technology innovation.
  • Speaking at the Comms Connect Conference, November 20-22, 2018
    • Division Chief, Dereck Orr will deliver a keynote on PSCR's lessons learned, current projects, and future vision for critical first responder communications with public safety stakeholders in Australia. PSCR was invited to share its approach with this group after conference organizer Geoff Spring attended the Annual Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting in 2018.
  • Hosting a booth at CES! January 8-11, 2018
    • If you're attending CES, stop by the Sands Expo Center to say hi to PSCR staff and first responders, and experience Technology on a Mission. Our onsite VR and AR demos will allow attendees to "see" through the eyes of first responders.


PSCR at CES 2019 banner - Technology on a Mission


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 November 5, 2018, Updated August 1, 2022