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Public safety communications research


A phone mounted on a metal arm shows a thermal image of several people standing in demo area.
Credit: S. Trunnell/Corner Alliance

Sensing through the smoke — in a dangerous environment with low visibility, firefighters can’t always rely on their eyes alone. That’s where haptic feedback comes in, a technology that leverages sensory cues (like a cellphone’s vibration) to communicate with its users. This could be the next frontier in situational awareness for first responders, so NIST is on an expedition to find out more.

Recently, NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division put haptic solutions to the test as part of the final phase in our Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge. Our team used the thermal tick camera shown above to keep track of what was going on in the demo area, which was otherwise filled with smoke and not visible.

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News and Updates


Industry Impacts

First Responder Communications

First responders must be able to communicate during an emergency. Too often in critical situations, communications among public safety agencies are hampered by

Projects and Programs

Public Safety Communications Research

The primary objective of the Public Safety Communications Research program is to lead the development of wireless telecommunications and information technology


Modeling MCPTT and User Behavior in ns-3

Wesley Garey, Thomas Henderson, Yishen Sun, Richard A. Rouil, Samantha Gamboa Quintiliani
To support the advancement of public safety communications technology, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has created several standards to define

Aerial LTE Demonstration Report

Maxwell Maurice, Sam Ray
In this paper, we investigate a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network mounted on an airborne small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) to provide broadband connectivity


PSCR Mission Critical Voice QPP SIM

QPP Sim is a simple discrete event simulator aimed at helping and accelerating the study of Quality of Service (QoS), Priority, and Pre-emption (QPP) mechanisms

Use Case Reference Model Database

The requirements of public safety are very multifaceted. As first responders incorporate more mobile technology into their mission strategies, they will have to

Tools and Instruments

LTE Coverage Tool

This experimental application was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR)