M/A-COM announced yesterday it has been awarded a $1.3 million contract by the County of Albemarle (Va.), City of Charlottesville (Va.) and the University of Virginia (UVA) to deploy an interoperable mobile data communications system. The system will be used by the Emergency Communication Center (ECC), which coordinates all police, fire and EMS requests for the three entities.

The system consists of equipment from M/A-COM and its partner organizations Cisco Systems, FATPOT Technologies, and Panasonic. The IP-based solution is based on M/A-COM’s OpenSky wireless data system in combination with Cisco Aironet access points. An applications suite from FATPOT enables seamless roaming between OpenSky and the Cisco-enabled hot spots, and integrates the ECC’s multiple CAD applications into a single user interface, M/A-COM said. Additionally, the FATPOT mobile client software runs on Panasonic mobile data computers.

M/A-COM’s four-site OpenSky system piggybacks on the ECC’s current voice system, eliminating the need to install new antenna systems or purchase battery backup and backhaul equipment, M/A-COM said. The sites are connected to the county’s network switching center (NSC), which tracks mobile data computers as they roam between sites and routes IP packets to the appropriate site. The NSC also includes a network manager function that monitors the health of the system and configures system elements, M/A-COM said.