Project SALUS

Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) agencies in EC member states are relying on digital Private Mobile Radio (PMR) networks for mission-critical voice and data communication. These PMR networks are highly resilient and properly dimensioned to cope with crisis and emergency handling, and are well protected against monitoring and intrusion by means of encryption, authentication and integrity. The two main standards for digital PMR networks in Europe are TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio) and TETRAPOL. The majority of these networks are based on mature technology, requiring old-fashion synchronous links (backbone), and using proprietary hardware solutions that eventually become obsolete. These networks also provide limited technology coverage resulting in lack of interoperability with legacy communication networks resulting in ineffective management of emergency event, specifically in terms of cross-border operations, and posing obstacles to support future emergency applications and services.

Therefore, to deliver a next generation service for public protection and disaster relief requires a next generation PPDR network that is backward compatible with legacy communication technologies; fully converged with the 4G evolutionary wireless paradigm; and supports robust and reliable transmission of broadband data. The main goal of SALUS is to design, implement and evaluate a next generation communication network concept for Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) agencies, supported by network operators and industry, which will provide security, privacy, seamless mobility, QoS and reliability support for mission-critical PMR voice and broadband data services.

The SALUS project will provide a robust, reliable, and secure mobile broadband communications system solutions for a wide variety of PMR applications and services on PPDR broadband networks, including the ability of inter-system, inter-agency and cross-border operations with emphasis on interoperability between users in PMR and LTE. The project covers the full techno-economic scope regarding development and deployment of the next generation PPDR networks by focusing on the integration with / migration to 4G wireless communications developments targeting three critical scenarios 1) city security, 2) disaster recovery, and 3) temporary protection. SALUS targets to address key research challenges that include enterprise architectures, economic and business analysis, and a number of technical aspects, such as QoS, resilience, inter-systems handover (secure, seamless and fast), enhanced security, privacy mechanisms in heterogeneous network infrastructure, and multicast broadband
PPDR services; and specific items ranging from spectrum availability to body area networks for in-field staff operations support.

The outcome of the project will enhance interoperability in the next generation PPDR networks, promoting modernisation and standardization in the EU, encouraging investments in competitive access networks with innovative techno-economic solutions.