The emergency services, utilities, logistics and construction markets are undergoing transformation in the way they deliver services, by exploiting digital connectivity and applications, with an increasing requirement to be connected everywhere. The overall objective of LightBar is to ensure the availability required to support critical services in the field is met.
This project addresses this gap, initially for the emergency service market by repositioning UK lightbar manufacturing in the global market. This activity might aid the possible future integration of disruptive 5G-satellite technology into products as part of the digital transformation of emergency services after the completion of the project.
The flexible LightBar design provides hybrid connectivity, satellite (initially L-band) and cellular bonding, and resilient positioning whilst being lightweight, small form factor and modular and will continue to be low profile and low cost.
The image below highlights the some of the key features the enhanced lightbar design has:
The developed Lightbar design delivers continuous, consistent bandwidth connectivity anywhere anytime for mission critical data and services. By seamlessly switching between terrestrial and satellite communication networks, network bonding and meshing, and situational prioritisation of data, ubiquitous connectivity with consistent bandwidth performance ensures access to mission critical data for service providers and users globally.
The developed LightBar enables:
The enhanced LightBar system utilises terrestrial cellular networks where the bandwidth and signal coverage allows and L-band satellite communication using the Inmarsat BGAN terminal where 3G and 4G are not acceptable for the required service (Inmarsat as the Satellite communications service provider). The seamless IP data service that is delivered optimises the available communication capacity, automatically routing application data between the various communications bearers, cellular and satcom and seamlessly, and reassembling the data streams without user interaction.
Existing emergency services users are heavily dependent upon (push-to-talk) voice services, though there is a transition to the use of data services in the sector. The enhanced lightbar will support:
There is a variety of different applications operating on a client device (in-vehicle system) with respect to access a server (backend-office) and demand real-time or cashed data exchange securely and seamlessly. The integrated hybrid connectivity Lightbar platform provides an alternative solution to existing in-vehicle gateways, offering augmented connectivity and optimised IP based traffic routing as outlined by the graphic below:
The Technology Phase is based on the following milestones:
The LightBar Project is working through the Critical Design Review (CDR) process within the Technology Phase.