Vendors EFJohnson, SyTech, SkyPort and TracStar have joined forces to create the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability platform. JISCC is designed to provide interoperable two-way radio communications and satellite connectivity to other wired and wireless voice and data networks — including voice-over-IP — at emergency incidents. The JISCC was demonstrated last month at the 2006 Homeland and Global Security Summit in Washington, D.C.

The platform — which consists of four separate modules — was developed in response to a request for proposals from the National Guard, which was seeking a system that would provide a rapid-deploy communications infrastructure to support onsite command-and-control communications and — more important — local first responders whose own communications systems had been rendered inoperable.

The National Guard initially will purchase nine JISCC systems under the contract signed last month, at a cost of $450,000 per system, according to Dale Craig, general manager of consultancy CFRS Management, which is coordinating the effort. The JISCCs are scheduled to be delivered in June, Craig said, adding that he expects the National Guard to purchase “a dozen or two more.”

Craig said the JISCCs are pre-wired and don't require any formal training for field personnel. They are more nimble than the SATCOLT mobile communications command centers deployed in emergencies by Sprint Nextel (MRT, April, page 6), he added.

Because the four modules are small enough to fit inside a single Humvee, they can reach places the much larger SATCOLTs — 27-foot long self-propelled vehicles — cannot, Craig said. “You can get [the JISCCs] as close to the scene of an event as you need to get,” said Craig, who spent 30 years in the Army as a radio signal officer. “Where the SATCOLTs are designed more for a large command staff, our goal is to support smaller, more targeted groups.”

The next stage of development for the JISCCs will be to create a version that will fit into sport utility vehicles and vans so they can be deployed by public-safety agencies, Craig said.

JISCC AT A GLANCE

Satellite Module (SkyPort)

1.2-meter dish
Satellite receiver
TDMA modem
GPS receiver

Radio Module (EFJohnson/SyTech)

Interoperability system
Software-based switch
Portable radios and repeater
Radio gateways

IT Module (Sytech)

100 Mb/s Ethernet LAN
VoIP phones
Wi-Fi hotspots
Fax, scanner and copier

Power Module (TracStar)

15 kW generator
Uninterruptible power supply
Radio charger
VAC/DC converter

Source: EFJohnson, SyTech, TracStar, SkyPort