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Deployable Networks R&D Summit Highlights

PSCR hosted a two-day Next Generation Deployable Networks R&D Summit on October 18-19 at the NIST Boulder Labs. The Summit gave stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on public safety’s requirements and desired outcomes for the “Next Generation Deployable Network,” defined by PSCR as multiple independent LTE networks all operating in conjunction with one another to augment the existing public safety broadband network. Summit attendees brainstormed how to advance LTE architecture, resiliency, backhaul, and other potential solutions to more effectively support two deployable network use cases. The use cases that PSCR identified included:

During the first day of the Summit, stakeholders brainstormed specific technology and knowledge gaps inhibiting the expanded use of deployable systems in each of these use cases. When identifying gaps, attendees were organized into breakout groups that aligned with the following five focus areas:

  • Interconnection, Backhaul, and Vehicles
  • Resilient Systems
  • Security
  • LTE Platforms
  • Applications

The breakout groups identified gap themes that were then used to brainstorm end-to-end deployable network solutions on Day 2. Some of the gaps identified included:

  • Lack of tools/analytics and standards to measure, model, and predict network coverage, capabilities, load, and reliability in real time to inform decision making for self-organized networks
  • Inability for deployables from different vendors / agencies to recognize and synchronize with each other (discovery problem)
  • Need to determine when to rely on deployable resources vs. core resources
  • Need to determine an architecture or process for data storage and processing at the edge to minimize backhaul reliance and to balance network load
  • “ICAM on the fly” -- How to register with other non-federated ICAM services (i.e., mutual aid)
  • Common Services/ Standardization for Applications
  • Need to optimize size, weight, power of deployable hardware for different tasks, agencies, and environments

On the second day, attendees characterized ways in which a user can interact with a deployable network. The solution descriptions included technologies that support the complete network, security, and application set required to get one desired user point to another. Day 2 concluded with a plenary brainstorm session on what represents the critical elements of a Deployable Networks Test Bed, what technologies could be evaluated in this test bed, measurement approaches and experiment designs to best evaluate the effectiveness of these technologies, key performance indicators, and challenges to consider when testing identified technologies.

A full meeting report summarizing the Summit discussion and outcomes will be published in the next several weeks. If you are interested in engaging with PSCR’s Deployable Network research, please email Ben Posthuma or Marc Leh.

Released November 1, 2017