Fred Samandari and Graeme Woodward from the Wireless Research Centre (WRC) at the University of Canterbury explain their successful collaboration with Tait Communications, combining forces in the development of technology in LTE broadband, narrowband mobile radio, coverage extension, enhanced reliability and situational awareness.
These technologies are especially useful for situations, such as natural disasters, where communication infrastructure might have been lost. This partnership has raised the capability of both organisations. WRC has boosted its research and student capability, putting graduates in a prime position to take up formal employment at Tait, and Tait has expanded its business into new markets. This successful collaboration between research and business was recognised with the Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Research and Business Partnership Award. With this award, KiwiNet recognises that a strong working relationship between business and a research organisation can be of significant commercial value to New Zealand.
In order for emergency responders to operate, they need to have timely, accurate, succinct information.
Traditionally, public safety organisations had to rely upon purely voice-based communications. We’re moving into using broadband data where we can have … we can send photos or video quite easily. So rather than having to rely upon a Police officer, for example, describing the characteristics of a suspect, they can send a photo or they can capture a video of the suspect
In a major crisis situation, you may lose your communications infrastructure, so you need to have ways to establish that communications even when the infrastructure is lost.
The system will not go down, the system is portable, it can be deployed in remote areas where there is no cellular communication.
The primary impact of this research for New Zealand is enabling Tait in its export of technology. Tait is a Kiwi company based here in Christchurch predominantly using graduates from the University of Canterbury. Something like 90% of their technology is sold to international markets.
The team at Tait and the team at Wireless Research Centre have worked very closely and very collaboratively, and what it has resulted is being a degree of confidence and trust where we know the intellectual properties that are being generated are being put into good use.
With the aid of some of our technology, should we have another major incident like another Christchurch earthquake, hopefully some of the technology that we produce can help make a difference.
Video courtesy of Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
© Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2013