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Peplink & SpeedFusion
Higher Quality Video at a Lower Cost

Greenville is South Carolina’s most populous county. The Greenville Sheriff’s department protects a half million residents with over 400 deputies. Among their many resources, the sheriff’s department has a Bell OH58C helicopter for a range of law enforcement, reconnaissance, and rescue operations. More than 600 municipal law enforcement agencies have helicopters for aerial surveillance and observation, but few of them have real-time video feeds for responders on the ground. Industry standard COTS microwave systems are expensive, require multiple towers, and line-of-sight transmission. Adequate coverage of Greenville County would have required finding, leasing or erecting towers to cover 800 square miles. The only field alternative was a $10,000 handheld receiver that still required line-of-sight connection to the Helicopter. The Greenville Sheriff worked with Joe Schmauch of Greenville Media, to find a better way to broadcast the video to the field than the off-the-shelf microwave systems. Schmauch introduced them to Peplink and SpeedFusion

Using the Frontier Partnership

Greenville media is one of Frontier’s Certified Peplink partners, and worked with Taylor Avery, Frontier Computer’s Peplink Technical Manager to develop the proof of concept for sending real-time video to all responders. Schmauch also brought in Mark Robison of VITEC to improve the broadcast stream, video and error correction. They configured a system using Peplink’s MultiWAN SpeedFusion secure VPN, Bandwidth Bonding, and Hot Failover. The result is a cost effective system that uses existing cellular assets in the community without additional infrastructure. With the Peplink System, the Sheriff’s department can send video to headquarters, a mobile command center, and directly to deputies responding at the scene. The full HD stream is broadcast with error correction and less than a two second delay.

A Solution Beyond Greenville

The system provides a steady broadcast quality video from the helicopter to both headquarters and the mobile command center, with a less than a two second delay. Over a secure CDN the video streams are also shared to department cell phones and to other first responders. The Greenville Sheriff’s Department shares their aerial observation abilities with other agencies through a mutual aid agreement. With a FLIR camera the chopper shows firefighters on the ground real-time thermal images from the air. The Pepwave outfitted Bell has been dispatched beyond Greenville to assist with other efforts including hurricane response. From any remote location the HD2 in the chopper can send video back to headquarters, and from there to anywhere in the world.

 

Mark Robison, VITEC

“This use case implements Peplink bonded cellular to replace line-of-sight microwave transmission systems. It is orders of magnitude less expensive, and is more robust even than the microwave COTS solution that is currently the most well-known alternative approach.”

In the Helicopter

Pepwave HD2 IP67: dual cellular modems, 4 SIM slots, water and dust protection, RF Port Lightning Immunity, Shock and Vibration Resistance (EN 61373:2010), and Electromagnetic Compatibility.

In the Mobile Command Center

Pepwave HD4: Quad Cellular modems, 8 SIM card slots, Simultaneous Dual Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Shock and Vibration Resistance (EN 61373:2010), and certification for Railway Applications/Electronic Equipment used on Rolling Stock(EN 50155)

At Headquarters

A Peplink Balance 210 is the Base unit, using SpeedFusion to establish and maintain the unbreakable, secure connection with the remote units.

The Connections

Four SpeedFusion VPN tunnels feed into the Balance 210 Which receives the encrypted video stream from the helicopter and can instantly and securely transmit to the Mobile Command Center. SpeedFusion bonds the Cellular WAN links from the HD2 IP67 and HD4 into an unbreakable high speed connection that is more robust than any single cellular connection alone.