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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Epiq and TRX Win Phase II DHS Contracts for In-Building Coverage Analysis System

Epiq Solutions and TRX Systems have been awarded Phase II Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracts to develop a simple, seamless, low size, weight, and power (SWaP) in-building coverage analysis system (ICAS) to aid first responders. 

As part of the DHS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program administered by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), DHS is seeking a solution to the critical problem of achieving reliable emergency communications network coverage in buildings of various types and locations.

Epiq Solutions successfully completed Phase I of the SBIR in 2020, using their commercial SDRs for RF scanning and sensing to validate key assumptions about converged in-building testing with P25, FirstNet, Commercial LTE, and 5G NR. In this Phase II contract, Epiq Solutions will bring to market a commercial product that addresses many challenges facing in-building coverage analysis and enhances trust in public safety networks for first responders.

Epiq Solutions will develop a converged scanner/sensor that simultaneously assesses wireless coverage of P25, FirstNet, commercial LTE, and 5G NR that is smaller than a deck of playing cards and can be powered from commercial phones and tablets. The company will provide a cloud-based coverage analysis and management system that provides measurement version control and a single pane of glass to Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), public safety communications officers, and city and county CIOs to view and manage the coverage of their emergency communications systems.

The TRX ICAS solution enables individual first responders to conveniently characterize the LMR and LTE coverage inside buildings using their own LMR radios and FirstNet LTE mobile devices. Through a phone interface and intuitive 3D signal map visualization, the TRX ICAS solution informs public safety users about wireless coverage gaps within individual buildings, including all critical infrastructure and other large public buildings across a first responder’s total service area. With advanced knowledge of potential communications issues, first responders can take appropriate actions to maintain situational awareness and ensure their personal safety during operations.

In Phase I of this program, TRX validated the feasibility of ICAS objectives by integrating with first responder radios and FirstNet LTE devices, mapping network service coverage in three representative buildings, storing the resultant signal maps in the cloud, and producing simultaneous, side-by-side visualization of LMR and FirstNet service signal maps. During Phase II, TRX will expand and harden Phase I capabilities to successfully operate the ICAS solution at scale across the public safety community. Key Phase II objectives include simplifying the process of collecting and updating coverage data, delivering coverage maps and alerts directly to user devices, providing aggregated visualizations of buildings across an Area of Responsibility (AoR), and conducting extended field testing with selected fire departments to verify system performance and validate usability.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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