Today, public safety relies more on FirstNet than ever, as first responders increasingly count on this wireless communication platform when performing their duties. Particularly in emergent medical duties, paramedics need to collaborate and communicate with other first responders, like police and firefighters, in order to have more information about the victims’ situations. This can mean a difference in saving lives.
Although there have been incentives from public and private sectors to boost the broadband for FirstNet infrastructures, it is also imperative to enhance in-vehicle mobile connectivity, as first responders spend a considerable amount of their time in their vehicles to conduct their missions. For instance, during the terrorist attacks and pandemics, many paramedics conduct diagnose in ambulances before patients are driven to hospitals. In fact, today’s first responders may also conduct their missions via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. However, the public Internet is not as reliable. Since the duties of first responders are highly time-sensitive and time-critical as well, they need an enhanced in-vehicle communication platform offering high computing performance and robust connectivity to FirstNet.
After identifying the challenges for EMS ambulances, there are certain technical requirements for the embedded in-vehicle communication gateway.
- Environmental endurance
Ambulances face constant shocks and vibrations when they are on the run for their missions. On the other hand, the deployment environment in the vehicles may experience extreme temperatures. Therefore, the embedded gateway should meet MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.6 and E-13 compliances to resist these external challenges. In addition, it must operate through a wide range of temperatures from -40 to 70°C (-40~158°F) and humidity levels of 5% to 95% (non-condensing).
- FirstNet 4G/LTE Support
The embedded gateway must support FirstNet, 4G/LTE wireless connectivity to enable a connected ambulance so that the EMS vehicle can serve as the hub between first responders and the hospitals. The results of the preliminary diagnose in the ambulance can be transferred to the hospitals so that doctors can conduct pre-surgical preparations.
- Expansion Socket
Since bandwidth is critical for the connected ambulance, the embedded gateway shall offer mini-PCIe sockets for bandwidth expansion modules, such as 4G/LTE or WiFi modules so that multiple WAN links can be provided for broader bandwidth and robust connectivity, which is critical for medical applications.
- Optional Controller Area Network (CAN bus)
CAN bus is a data transmission network channel between vehicle systems and subsystems. CAN bus is mainly used for vehicle diagnose, and for EMS vehicles, like ambulances, vehicle diagnosis is crucial for public safety.
To address the networking challenges for first responders, Lanner introduces its V3S, a Milestone® certified in-vehicle computer powered by Intel® Atom™ x7-E3950 quad-core processor to support Ultra-HD (4K) resolution, improved memory bandwidth and GPU performance. In addition, the processor is designed to operate under extreme temperature ranges.
Lanner’s V3S features multiple I/O connectors for peripheral devices, including 2x serial COM ports, 2x DVI-D video output, USB, Digital I/O, 6 x RJ-45 GbE ports (4 of them are PoE enabled) and a removable 2.5” drive bay.
For wireless connectivity, V3S comes with two mini-PCIe sockets, one for the 4G/LTE module and the other with a dual SIM card reader that supports 3G/4G/LTE cellular communications. V3S is expandable through LTE radio modules PGN-300 and PGN-600. The latter is particularly ideal for first responders as it supports FirstNet and CBRS.
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