GD Technology In Action
General Dynamics employs the latest in Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) technology to deliver instant access to voice, data, video and text to first responders by use of our exclusive eNodeB products and open source platforms. The benefits of having a dedicated 4G LTE public safety network include easy deployability, interoperability between agencies, and the ability to provide high-definition full motion video on demand.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, power was lost and mobile communications were unavailable in many storm ravaged communities. An enormous gap in communications at a time when it was needed most. Working with local first responders, the Army National Guard utilized General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) communications system to help first responders communicate in a new way. Originally developed for combat operations, the WIN-T system is the premier Army tactical network, providing voice, video and data services to U.S. forces worldwide.
Beyond its use on the battlefield, WIN-T is fielded to the National Guard where it serves as a critical communications hub that re-establishes secure, high-speed, high-bandwidth network communications following domestic natural disasters and civil emergencies. So by using WIN-T in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the National Guard provided access to commercial Internet and phones, enabling law enforcement, first responders and military organizations to communicate, share data and collaborate in real-time.
In November 2013, General Dynamics Mission Systems engineers, in conjunction with the Texas National Guard, Texas Public Safety officials, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and Texas Task Force 1, conducted a high-level training and testing exercise at the EDGE Innovation Network’s 2013 Winter Institute held at Texas A&M University’s Disaster City training facility.
Complete with full-scale collapsed buildings and rubble piles, Disaster City offered rigorous testing conditions for evaluating General Dynamics Mission Systems’ 4G LTE network in the simulated aftermath of an F3 tornado with damaged infrastructure and varied geography. Using our Cell On Wheels (COW), first responders successfully navigated these emergency scenarios while communicating voice, video and data in real time over a FirstNet-Ready 4G LTE network to the incident leaders in the command center.
Large Community Events
From festivals and parades to concerts and marathons, large-scale events pose many challenges for first responders. To ensure a safe and successful event, they need technology that allows them to monitor and maneuver around crowds, record and share information in real-time and rapidly respond to potential threats and emergency situations.
As one of many examples where General Dynamics' technology has been utilized at major events, we brought our Quick Deployable Mobile Communications kit to Norfolk, Virginia for Harborfest which is a four-day summer festival attended by more than half a million people every year. Our engineers mounted remote-controlled cameras on tall buildings as well as on roving All Terrain Vehicles that wirelessly transmitted real-time footage over our mobile network back to the command center. Importantly, these cameras could also be controlled and viewed by any user on the secure network. There’s also a reason it’s called the Quick Deployable Mobile Communications kit because operators can deploy the technology in only a few hours. We configured the entire solution for Harborfest – from cameras to network – in less than two hours.
Similarly, General Dynamics' technology was employed by the Boston Police Department at the 2012 St. Patrick’s Day parade, which attracts over 600,000 spectators every year. Officers patrolled the parade route, gathering information, taking photos and recording video. In the past, the technology did not exist to share that intelligence information in real-time. However, by using our web-based technologies, each officer could securely share that information in real-time with other officers and the command center.
General Dynamics Mission Systems is committed to bringing industry and academia together to open a dialogue between the youngest students and more experienced engineers that advances our work and meets the evolving needs of our country’s first responders. During these collaborations we look to discover how new technologies will work under pressure and to provide students with the necessary skillset to evolve capabilities for the future. During these demonstrations we are able to update and improve the technologies in real time to ensure the technology will hold up in an actual emergency or natural disaster.