Firefighting Technology: NIST Tests in NYC Suggest How to Improve Emergency Radio Communications

04/18/2013
Radio communications can be unreliable in underground tunnels and other large, complicated structures, posing a safety hazard for emergency responders. New tests of wireless emergency safety equipment by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have defined the challenges more precisely and suggest how emergency communications might be improved. In a series of experiments conducted in New York City, an epicenter of underground tunnels and high-rise buildings, NIST researchers measured path loss, or reduced signal strength, which can occur when signals must travel through thick walls and dense material. NIST researchers also found that wireless emergency beacons could be ...

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