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Barrett Uses High Frequency (HF) to Extend Reach of its Rapid Field Deployment System (RFDS)

Date: 2015-09-03
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The Barrett FirstLink RFDS is a complete solution for extending FirstNet’s Band 14 LTE footprint from any location over short, medium and long haul distances back to core. By taking the High Frequency (HF) variant of its Rapid Field Deployment System (RFDS), a transit-case based deployable radio base station, and married it to the Star Solutions IMPAC portable cellular system, Barrett has produced a system that provides cell coverage and a simple, affordable reachback capability which is designed for use as part of the US First Net program. The HF radio extends the FirstLink RFDS’s reach to up to hundreds of miles away without additional infrastructure and is free to air.

STAR Solutions identified that there will be a period of time before the FirstNet network provides the blanket coverage throughout the USA that it is tasked with providing. Mr Jack Mar, CEO of Star Solutions commented “The amount of towers that it will take to create this blanket coverage is a daunting task and in addition to the technical complexity, the cost and hardening of these sites is astronomical by any standard.”

In response to this, STAR Solutions developed the IMPAC system which provides rapid deployment of a combined Band 14 LTE voice and data system. From there, Barrett Communications through NVIS Communications have partnered with STAR Solutions to develop the FirstLink RFDS.

The RFDS concept is to provide a complete turn-key communications system in a single easily transportable case, including radios, power, cabling, lighting and external connections. It is designed to be simple to set up and to operate, so that all the operator has to do is connect it to an antenna and switch it on.

The Barrett RFDS FirstLink provides a rapidly deployable Radio Access Network (RAN) capability together with a low cost terrestrial Transport Backhaul option in the form of an HF radio link. It can provide additional First Net cellular capacity to cope with the surge in demand caused by a disaster, be a replacement to existing systems where these are damaged, or provide the capability where none exists.

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