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Commerce Secretary Bryson Visits

NOV 8, 2011 — U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson visited our public safety labs. PSCR Program Manager, Dereck Orr and Technical Manager, Jeff Bratcher described to Secretary Bryson some of our current projects as they toured the labs.

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    U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson (back facing) is greeted by ITS Executive Officer Brian Lane (left), PSCR Technical Manager Jeff Bratcher (center) and PSCR Program Manager Dereck Orr (right).
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    Orr (right) and Bratcher (center) describe our Public Safety 700 MHz Broadband Demonstration Network to Secretary Bryson (left).
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    Secretary Bryson, Bratcher, and Orr in our LTE/LMR lab.
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    Lane, Secretary Bryson, Bratcher, and Orr in LTE/LMR lab.
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    Video Project Leader Joel Dumke (seated) shows Secretary Bryson (center) a video quality experiment sample.
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    Secretary Bryson and Orr in our video lab.
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    Secretary Bryson (right) meets Captain Paul Roberts of the Boise, Idaho, Fire Department in our audio quality lab.
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    Secretary Bryson meets Lieutenant Ken Link of the Monroe Township, New Jersey, Fire Department (center) in our audio quality lab.
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    Bratcher describes our audio quality work and shows Secretary Bryson the lab’s sound board.
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    Secretary Bryson asks questions about firefield communications.
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    Link (center) relates his firefield experience to our background noise and intelligibility work.
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    Secretary Bryson listens to samples illustrating issues of intelligibility affected by background noise.
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    Bratcher shows Secretary Bryson a firefighter suit.
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    Orr shows Secretary Bryson how an SCBA mask fits.
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    Roberts relates audio quality issues firefighters encounter. From left: Link, Roberts, PSCR Project Leader (Standards and P25 CAP) Andrew Thiessen, and Secretary Bryson.

The tour began in our LTE and LMR lab where Orr and Bratcher described to Secretary Bryson the 700-MHz Public Safety Broadband Demonstration Network we are building and testing to provide manufacturers and first responders a location for early deployment of their systems in a multi-vendor, neutral, host environment.

Next, they visited our video quality lab where Project Leader Joel Dumke demonstrated how lighting, motion, and target size (object of interest in the picture) play a role in determining video bit rate recommendations. Our experiments exploring the effects of network conditions upon video quality for public safety applications enable us to make bit rate recommendations for wireless public safety incident command and control networks.

Finally, Orr and Bratcher led Secretary Bryson to our audio quality lab where he met Captain Paul Roberts of the Boise, Idaho, Fire Department and Lieutenant Ken Link of the Monroe Township, New Jersey, Fire Department who were participating in our video team’s latest acuity experiments. Orr and Bratcher demonstrated to Secretary Bryson how we study the affects of background noise on voice intelligibility. They explained our goal to learn what technology and operational improvements may help overcome background noise issues. Roberts and Link described the relationship of our work to their own real-world firefighting experiences. To realize how background noise can affect wireless communications intelligibility, Secretary Bryson compared samples from talkers either with or without an SCBA mask with no additional noise or noise from such things as a fire truck pump panel, a rotary saw cutting metal, a chainsaw cutting wood, a PASS, or a low-air alarm.

The slideshow captures many moments from Secretary Bryson’s visit.

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