[Satnews] TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS) has announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will sponsor TCS for the second phase of research, “Constructing Algorithms that Utilize RF Cell Site Propagation Footprints for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).”
The research focuses on using area footprints associated with radio frequency (RF) coverage to improve geo-targeting granularity and accuracy for delivery of WEA messages. TCS, which performed the first phase of this study over six months in 2014, is now partnering with ClearTalk Wireless to validate the phase-one findings in a real-world carrier environment.
WEA, established by the WARN Act in 2006, is a voluntary national emergency alert system that is designed to deliver critical and emergency messages to the public. WEA messages include presidential emergency alerts, AMBER Alerts, and warnings of imminent national and local threats to life and property, such as natural and man-made disasters.
TCS partnered with ClearTalk Wireless to utilize the carrier’s mobile network. The eight-month study, which kicked off in June 2015, includes field-testing with the mobile operator to verify theoretical concepts in a real-world environment. The field-testing will not affect current ClearTalk Wireless customers or affect the carrier’s current WEA notification system. The outcome of TCS' research will provide DHS S&T with recommendations to enhance geo-targeting methods with the goal of providing more focused geo-targeting alert area notifications to ultimately increase the safety of wireless device users.
The outcome of TCS’ research will also help standardize algorithms and data management processes that will be used to increase citizens' awareness of pending emergencies within their immediate geographic location. Improved geo-targeting will provide a better user experience and higher alert notification integrity.
The method developed in this project can be deployed without changes to existing networks,
protocols or handset software. While the Federal Communications Commission’s Communications, Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) working group continues to refine the standard for improving WEA geo-targeting accuracy, this method can complement the CSRIC effort.
TCS' secure mobile communication technology has powered the delivery of five trillion text messages and more than 65 million annual wireless emergency calls. TCS' wireless technology serves U.S. military customers with mission-critical solutions. TCS operates the only non-operator TL 9000-certified network operations center supporting E9-1-1, text messaging and location-based solutions. A member of the TIA and ATIS standards bodies, TCS has been actively involved in WEA-related standards working sessions since January 2008.
TCS Commercial Software Group, Mobility Solutions Group Vice President, Dr. Keith Bhatia, said, “By successfully designing and testing our algorithm using cell RF propagation with commercial off-the-shelf software, we can improve emergency alert coverage and further protect the public from life threatening events. ClearTalk Wireless is known for creating simple and affordable wireless solutions, and we are pleased to be working with them as we conduct the real-world environment analysis.”
ClearTalk Wireless, Director of Regulatory Compliance & Engineering, Paul Rauscher, said, “As a mobile operator, it is important that we are continuing to evolve our public safety solutions in order to ensure that our customers receive alerts in potential emergency situations. It is encouraging that the method developed during the first phase of the project can be deployed without changes to our existing network.”