Daily Archives: August 16, 2015

DHS S&T licenses innovative communication technology to ...

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Emergency communicationDHS S&T licenses innovative communication technology to commercial partners

Published 17 August 2015

DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) last week announced that it has licensed the Radio Internet-Protocol Communications Module (RIC-M) to two commercial partners. RIC-M, used by local, state, and federal responders, is a low-cost, external, stand-alone, interface device that connects radio frequency (RF) system base stations, consoles and other RF equipment — regardless of brand — over the Internet or Private Internet Protocol (IP) network.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) last week announced that it has licensed the Radio Internet-Protocol Communications Module (RIC-M) to two commercial partners: Ellicott City, Maryland-based Christine Wireless, Inc. and Lexington, South Carolina-based Avtec Inc.

This new interoperability solution developed by the First Responders Group (FRG) allows response agencies easily to upgrade and reconfigure legacy communications systems at a low cost, potentially extending the life of the technology for decades.

FRG’s mission is to work hand-in-hand with first responders — determining their needs, identifying solutions, testing progress and incorporating feedback, and then making the technology available for their daily use,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “RIC-M is shining example of a collaborative effort that will further assist our partners in public safety communications.”

RIC-M, used by local, state, and federal responders, is a low-cost, external, stand-alone, interface device that connects radio frequency (RF) system base stations, consoles and other RF equipment — regardless of brand — over the Internet or Private Internet Protocol (IP) network.

“Instead of having to replace an entire system — which can cost as much as $15,000 — when one component breaks or becomes obsolete, organizations can use any RIC-M compatible product to extend the system’s life for another 10 to 20 years,” said FRG Program Manager Christine Lee.

RIC-M converts from a commonly used V.24 serial communications protocol to an open-standard Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP). Both encrypted and unencrypted Project 25 (P25) digital communications are supported, and it can also operate with analog communication equipment.

“In the past, legacy systems were not interoperable,” explained Lee. “If you bought one brand of base station, you had to buy the same brand for the all other components even if other brands offered more economical choices or better options. RIC-M allows first responder organizations to be free from dependence on expensive, single-vendor communication solutions, offering cost savings and wider variety.”

Base stations are used by law enforcement, medical and other agency dispatchers to communicate with first responders and agents in the field. Using RIC-M, agencies can easily upgrade and reconfigure legacy systems at a low cost, Lee stressed.

S&T notes that since its conception in 2011, RIC-M has been successfully field tested with various state and federal response agencies including Montgomery County, Maryland; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Federal Protective Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior Office of Law Enforcement and Security.

The licenses to Christine Wireless Inc. (also RIC-M’s inventor) and Avtec Inc. were awarded through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to manufacture and sell RIC-Ms in commercial markets. Interested agencies can order the devices from both vendors and will also soon be able to procure the devices via General Services Administration Schedules.

FRG will host live RIC-M demonstrations at the 81st Annual APCO Conference & Expo today and tomorrow (Monday, 17 August and Tuesday, 18 August) in Washington, D.C. Conference attendees and members of the media are welcome to attend.

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Fayyad: supporting Aoun is triumph to partn…

NNA – “Loyalty to Resistance” parliamentary bloc member, MP Ali Fayyad, described his bloc’s support to MP Michel Aoun as a victory for partnership as well as state and Institutions logic.

The MP confirmed on Sunday during a celebration in Al-Taibeh south village that Hizbullah would always support “Change and Reform” bloc leader, MP Michel Aoun, in the face of the marginalization and exclusion policies, saying “our support to Aoun is of various dimensions (…), supporting him is a victory for partnership and the institutions and state’s logic.”

Fayyad said that the behavior of some parties have raised old concerns related to partnership among the Lebanese , an issue that has pushed Lebanon back 40 years.

The MP added “respect to partnership and the size of political groups is the cornerstone of stability” in the country.

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40 Migrants Die Off Italy as Europe Faces 'Worst Crisis since ...

NNA – At least 40 migrants died in the hold of a boat off Italy Saturday as the EU struggled to cope with “the worst refugee crisis since World War II”, with thousands making dangerous crossings to reach Italy and Greece.

“Operation under way… many migrants saved. At least 40 dead,” the Italian navy said on Twitter, while the Corriere della Sera newspaper said those who died were found in the hold of the vessel, apparently having suffocated below deck.

An Italian navy helicopter had spotted the boat, which was “overcrowded and starting to sink”, about 21 nautical miles off the Libyan coast, south of the Italian island of Lampedusa, a reporter with Italy RaiNews TV at rescue operation headquarters said.

An Italian navy patrol boat was sent to its aid at 7 am (0500 GMT) and when its sailors boarded the boat, the grim discovery was made.

“We were faced with a very emotional scene,” Commander Massimo Tozzi, told the Italian news agency AGI, describing how some bodies were floating on the water.

The 312 survivors — including 45 women and three children — were then transferred to the Norwegian vessel Siem Pilot.

Almost 400 other migrants were picked up in the Mediterranean Saturday by other vessels taking part in the EU’s patrol and rescue operation, Triton –AFP.

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