Next generation of Professionnal Mobile Radio (PMR) networks
PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief) networks are currently facing a significant technological move from 80's narrowband technologies to state-of-the-art communication technologies leveraging 3GPP LTE and Advanced-LTE standard releases. Nevertheless those standards are requiring some adaptations in order to meet the very specific requirements of PPDR users. Among those requirements, one can mention efficient voice group communications, redundancy / reliability, infrastructure less modes of operations... Such adaptations require a significant amount of work within the relevant 3GPP working groups. On top of LTE adaptation, PPDR market is also seeking to standardize and then develop multi-media PPDR applications duplicating the one-to-many mode of operations currently in use through voice applications. Relevant video applications present a significant challenge including transmission optimisation, automatic processing, secured and reliable storage... Command and Control rooms able to operate from the filed (with the same capabilities than in a fixed location) is also a technical challenge that PPDR forces are facing more and more.
In addition to the migration from narrowband technologies to broadband technologies mentionned above, PPDR forces are considering and investigating the available 3G/4G commercial network capabilities. This is a mean to complement their current network capability but also a way to learn how their modes of operation are going to be influenced and impacted by such technologies. Regarding end-user devices, PPDR forces are expecting multi-bearer devices enable to connect either to a PPDR dedicated network but also to 3G/4G commercial networks. Such devices could be pedestrian ones as ruggedized smartphones but also embedded into vehicles with the relevant form factor. On top of integration issues, such device capability is highlighting a security threat due to the fact that it is capable to connect to a secure and dedicated network and to an open commercial network which could be a target of cyber attacks.
According to an independent business information provider, the value of the global public safety broadband network service revenues in 2013 will reach $10.5bn.
Next generation of video protection systems
Today video protection cameras surround us and police cars are more and more equipped with cameras, but information cannot be fully exploited due to following reasons:
Wireless bandwidth capacity is limited, video streams have to be uploaded only when relevant.
Shortage of human workforce, inundating amount of mostly salient video data, difficulty to tap into all available video feeds at once and difficulty to sift relevant and useful feeds from the rest.
Moreover, law enforcement situation awareness is critical in complex, highly dynamic environments where decisions have to be made under time pressure, and often with uncertain information. Public safety users need trust and reliable information via richer media such as video and graphics of metadata to help them in their day to day missions. Theses challenges can be adressed through the developpement of intelligent distributed video surveillance systems.
Next generation of 112 calls
Wireless and VoIP networks bring increased capabilities, such as data, image, video, leading to the need to improve the effectivness of transmitting a 112 "call" to a public safety answering point (PSAP).
PSAPs must be able to handle video, data, texting and voice and they must be able to obtain the location of a mobile or VoIP phone, but also to manage and proceed with such huge amount of redundant information flows. Assocation of the different information sources with on-going incidents is key. A manner to ensure that incidents are really happening (spam) is also a challenge.
CyberSecurity : smart grid threats
According to Smart Grid Security Market experts, a combination of ageing infrastructure, smart grid adoption, rising compliance & regulations and utilities becoming a target for criminal exploitation has invigorated growth in the utility infrastructure security market. Expected major demand is focused on North America and Asia. Global spending on utility infrastructure security expenditure, along with planned investment and government support will total 7.455 M$ in 2012. There will be strong growth in the utility infrastructure security market as governments and utility companies rush to protect utility infrastructure networks which are considered to be critical infrastructure in need of protection to ensure national economic security.
Vulnerability of Smart grids resides on external agents, including natural catastrophes, terrorism (directly against power infrastructures) and hacker attacks (against information infrastructures). Security requirements involve mainly integrity, availability, and confidentiality. The consequences of a successful attack on the electricity generation, transmission and distribution can be catastrophic; therefore improving the security of the Smart Grid is of paramount importance.
Author: Eric Munier