Alaska Department of Transportation and Deploys Statewide Land Mobile Radio System

System proves efficient and rapid in transmitting data.

by / October 7, 2003
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Alaska Department of Transportation reported successful completion of a demonstration project developed to verify efficient data transmission over the new Alaska Land Mobile Radio (ALMR) statewide shared public-safety communications system. The system, which will integrate voice and data service, is part of Motorola's extensive portfolio of public-safety and security solutions for mission-critical integrated communications, information management, regional coordination and incident command.

The data system will provide state personnel with messaging capabilities in real time and wireless access to critical information.

"The results of the data demonstration far exceeded our expectations," said Ocie Adams, project director for the Department of Transportation. "The period between the time we pushed the button in Fairbanks and the data arrived in Juneau was really low, even lower than we experienced on our wide area network."

The project test was developed to verify that:
-- Data messages sent through the ALMR trunked radio system would be received in a matter of minutes from Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau
-- Voice operation would have priority over data operation, but ensure that data packets are not lost in the system during voice transmission
-- Voice and data share the same coverage characteristics on the proposed system.

The demonstration utilized Motorola portable radios and mobile radios. All radios connected to Motorola Mobile Laptop 800 (ML800) computers, selected to meet the minimum raw data rate of 9600 bps.

"We'll be able to transmit data back in real time from our notebook computers to our databases, which will significantly enhance efficiencies in managing both day-to-day operations and emergency response" Adams said. "The radio equipment will also support integrated voice and data needs for highway inspection. The department plans to purchase its Phase I mobile, portable and base station radios for integrated voice and data operations in the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau areas over the next several months."

"This system will prove to be a valuable asset because all we'll need is one radio and a compact laptop computer and we'll be able to communicate with senior leadership when something happens, where it happens," added Mickey Hendrickson, safety and health officer for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. "We've faced many communications challenges in the past because of the mountains and vast openness of our state."

The system will combine state, federal and local resources into a single, shared standards-based infrastructure supporting public-safety first responders and each participating agency's day-to-day operations. When fully implemented, the joint effort between Alaska and the U.S. Department of Defense will provide a single shared statewide trunk radio system and will combine available federal and state public-safety radio spectrum for use on the shared trunk radio system.
Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor