TOWs Could Save Lives


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As part of an ongoing effort to strengthen domestic and international defense missions, Atlantic Tower Services and MissionTEQ are working with General Dynamics Mission Systems’ LTE products to create a mobilized computer-controlled K-9 vest that will dramatically improve first responder and national security efforts in several key areas.

“The goal of the project is to allow government agencies to gather the specifications of the technology, witness operation and training conducted, and evaluate the overall usefulness and relevance of the technology as it pertains to current and future operations,” Brittany Lawler, marketing coordinator at ATS, explained.

The new K-9 vest will support defense operations conducted by the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, other federal agencies, first responders, and humanitarian K-9 concept of operations, such as countering improvised explosive devices (IED), culvert/tunnel clearance, search and rescue, and counter narcotics.

Recently, the three companies met at Patrick Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to demonstrate the new technology. MissionTEQ is a small business founded by industry veterans focused on providing innovative and effective products that create mobile tactical advantages through enhanced real-time situational awareness for fielded resources and operations. General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Fortress® wireless mesh points provided a secure wireless link between the K-9 handler and the K-9 itself. The equipment will also allow for all voice, video, and data transmitted from the TDV WolfPack to be conveyed to mobile and remote command centers.

The TDV WolfPack is MissionTEQ’s patent-pending technology that which integrates a wide variety of high definition video, voice, data, GPS, specialized sensors and illumination components, as well as, an off-lead silent tactile directional control system into a computer controlled K9 vest.

Now how do towers play into all of this? ATS provided the Tower on Wheels (TOWs) technology so the LTE products from General Dynamics could be utilized.

“The leader in LTE technology certified for Public Safety is SWAP optimized eNodeB’s. General Dynamics is the only BC14 Public Safety eNodeB that requires no refrigeration for its Base Band and RF eNodeB elements.  General Dynamics has completed interoperability with various 3GPP compliant technologies, including BC14 ready Smartphones, and provides a complete infrastructure of user equipment (UE) such as USB modems, vehicle modems, and Directional/Omni-directional outdoor units.” Lawler explained. “Their eNodeB-based networks are flexible and affordable, ready to be deployed on a tower, building rooftop, equipment room, shelter, or even an outdoor cabinet, such as a field-deployable Tower on Wheels (TOW).

ATS acted as the legs of the project; they were able to put the technology in motion by providing a TOW and the services necessary to deploy the LTE and Fortress 802.11 Mesh Turn-Key solution.

ATS had to secure a mobile tower solution that could withstand 400 lbs. at a little over 100 feet, and the mast had to be unguided as there was limited space and there could be no ground penetration due to regulatory issues.

“Along with the deployment of the TOW we had to custom build mounts that could hold the LTE radios and antennas along with the Fortress radios and antennas,” Lawler said.  “These custom mounts were hand-built by the same ATS tower crews that deployed the TOW.  ATS also had to manufacture the custom Ethernet and power cables to provide power and communications to each of the radios that were mounted on the tower. Once the TOW was deployed and raised to the required height on site, ATS then needed to be available for drive testing and any azimuth or height changes that needed to take place during the deployment.”

ATS has been asked to provide their services on all future Technical Standard Order Authorizations, and other projects of this nature due to their vast array of deployment knowledge.

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