Wireless: LAN helps public safety personnel increase mobility

Implementing wireless mobile-to-mobile (M2M) technology can reduce lengthy cabling cost, save time, and labor over hardwired networks, but some wireless solutions also increase workforce mobility.


Implementing wireless mobile-to-mobile (M2M) technology can reduce lengthy cabling cost, save time, and labor over hardwired networks, but some wireless solutions also increase workforce mobility. Today, wireless M2M technology is helping public safety agencies respond to crises rapidly, important for the security of personnel and assets in manufacturing facilities.

Fast and effective communication is essential between police, fire, EMS and other public safety agencies. Instant access to critical information, including state motor vehicle departments, local, state, and federal databases, is also important. Officers must be prepared to address many different situations while completing various tasks, such as criminal reporting. As demand for services grows, so does the need for better tools to ensure that agencies can continue to effectively address the needs of their communities.

Wireless technology breaks the tether between police officers’ handheld devices and the docking stations in their vehicles, much the same way operators could be untied from various machine control or monitoring applications.

Currently, numerous law enforcement agencies use tablet PCs or hand-held PDAs to help them do their job more effectively. These systems help them respond in the field to emergency calls from their central administration center, upload a suspect’s ID, and download detailed information on the vehicle or person in question along with associated history from state and federal databases via wireless interface.

The mobile device connects to a wireless local public safety network via COM ports on the vehicle’s docking system. Although officers can move tablet PCs or PDAs around with them, they must return to the vehicle docking system send or receive information.

One system integrator used Moxa ’s 2-port wireless device server on the docking system. One serial port connects to the proprietary wireless public safety network and the other to the vehicle’s GPS. The tablet PC constantly transmits data to the device server via 802.11b interface. With the company’s virtual COM driver installed on the Microsoft Windows-based tablet PC, system integrators were able to provide a quick solution. This process leads to improved efficiency for the officer at the side of the road or criminal scene, providing clear, concise and accurate electronic information that can be passed instantly the control center.

For more information about wireless technology, visit Control Engineering .

Edited by C.G. Masi, senior editor, Control Engineering Machine Control eNewsletter charlie.masi@reedbusiness.com charlie.masi@reedbusiness.com

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