Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

DHS S&T seeking portable radio repeaters

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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) officials said the agency has posted a request for information regarding portable radio repeater products.

The initiative targets emergency responder community indoor and subterranean environments. S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) is specifically seeking information on human-portable and deployable repeaters contained within a protective enclosure.

“Communications are crucial to emergency response operations,” Hasan Shahid, test engineer for NUSTL, said. “This can be a challenge indoors and underground as radio, and cell coverage is often limited in these environments, and additional network infrastructure may not be present. First responders can deploy portable radio repeaters in these environments to enable or enhance communications in several types of incidents, such as active shooter responses, urban search and rescue operations, and tunnel maintenance.”

Interested industry partners have until 4 p.m. EDT on Oct. 16, 2020, to submit their products for inclusion. For a radio repeater to qualify as human-portable, the combined weight of the repeater and enclosure must be under 50 pounds. If the combined weight is over 50 pounds, the enclosure must be equipped with wheels.

It should also be configurable, enabling deployment for various indoor and underground emergency response operations, rather than just fixed installations.

The market survey report is slated to be posted to the SAVER Document Library on the S&T website – with findings accessible to state, local, and federal response agencies making decisions about the technology.