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Easing Communication With Cognitive Radio

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2012
2 pages
This issue describes the development of a prototype device that uses an Android interface to search for nearby public safety networks, provides push-to-talk capability, and creates a bridge between two networks.

Such a device is needed when the command-and-control center of a major metropolitan area under disaster conditions needs the services of public-safety personnel from other jurisdictions. In such cases, the prototype device can tap into nearby public safety networks for communication with command-and control in the coordination, deployment, and reporting of all personnel activities. The prototype, which was developed under NIJ funding, functions as an input-output device rather than as a phone. The internal computer, its speaker, its microphone, and its touchscreen display are used in connecting to another device that acts as a radio. The device can switch between being used as a smartphone and being part of the radio system. The prototype radio can find signals from all public safety networks within range and then use the Android to display them to the operator; the operator is allowed to select one for operational use. It can also serve as a hand-held gateway between any two networks or as a hand-held repeater. Because the prototype project is software-based and uses a standard radio and computer chips, the prototype developer believes a manufacturer could pick up the prototype and market the device for approximately $1,200.

Date Published: February 1, 2012