Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $640,317)
Among other purposes, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides funds to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery and to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health. In addition to supporting the goals of the Recovery Act, this project also supports the purposes of the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program by helping to increase the economic efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement activities. This project will address law enforcement technology requirements and priorities in the areas of ' officer safety, public safety, and communications (including interoperable communications). In consideration of the goals, objectives, and intended impact of the Recovery Act, priority consideration has been given to proposals that demonstrate the potential for increasing law enforcement efficiency and effectiveness and/or support job creation or preservation on an expedited time frame. Criminal justice agencies pay large sums of money for radio communication services. Historically, individual agencies have required these services to operate within their own jurisdictions and within their own agency. Recently, there has been the added requirement to communicate with other agencies and jurisdictions. This is interoperability. Existing radio systems require multiple radios, multiple antennas or patchwork solutions to address the interoperability issue. These solutions are often costly and inefficient. NIJ investment in interoperable communications leverages military and commercial investment to develop single technology solutions to overcome these issues. These solutions will decrease cost and increase functionality and flexibility for our customers. To that end, this project addresses the handheld antenna challenge. The proposed antenna element will be compatible with multiband/mode communications systems operating within the public safety radio bands of 150, 400, 700, 800, and 4900 MHz. The ultimate goal is to provide a spectrally efficient, low-cost, robust, and compact solution to the interoperability, adaptability, and reliability needs of public safety communications systems. This project maintains jobs and develops new technology.