Emergency Response Communications
Emergency vehicles, such as police cars, ambulances, fire engines and helicopters operate over large geographic areas. This presents significant challenges as no single network can offer reliable connectivity over such a large space. Urban canyons can render satellite links inoperative and cellular coverage can be limited outside main conurbations. For emergency services, it is clear that the communications system must be able to make use of many different networks and service providers.
One of the headline objectives of 5G is to provide seamless connectivity across cellular, satellite and terrestrial services. This acknowledges the fact that it will be necessary to make use of different technologies to realise the desired coverage. For emergency vehicles, 5G services would be a significant step forward, but access in the mid-term is likely to be focused on conurbations and cellular services only.
As part of a European Space Agency contract, Livewire Digital has developed RazorLink Smart Networking. RazorLink is a Software Defined Networking (SDN) solution that can integrate existing cellular, satellite and terrestrial services in line with the headline 5G objectives.
RazorLink provides a seamless transition between services providing full IP mobility; it can combine networks for additional bandwidth and secure the link, encrypting data whatever route the traffic takes. RazorLink accelerates TCP, improving performance over high latency satellite, poor quality cellular and intermittent Wi-Fi links. RazorLink prioritisation makes it feasible for critical data to be given precedence over background updates and can deliver low latency video streams giving control centre staff better situation awareness. Remote access can be realised without the complexity, overhead and poor performance of VPN based architectures.
RazorLink is a software solution that can be deployed on COTS hardware or embedded alongside firmware in the vehicle. The counterpart can be run on dedicated hardware or on secured virtualised private cloud services.