MERC Conducts Radio Frequency (RF) Analysis Research for DHS

WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA (December 13, 2014) – MERC engineers participated in the first of four planned events at Guardian Centers in Perry, Georgia from 10 to 13 December 2014 to evaluate the threat of RF interference to First Responder mission critical communications devices during medium to large scale incidents.

More than 300 personnel from the Georgia Army and Air National Guard participated in the exercise, supported by several police officers, paramedics, and firemen from Perry and Warner Robins. MERC used this exercise to validate the data collection systems and research protocols they will use throughout the DHS funded research project.

In addition to the use of RF spectrum analysis equipment, MERC outfitted members of the Search and Extraction teams with wireless microphones and videotaped their activities to determine the impacts of mental and physical fatigue, ambient noise and RF signal degradation on the First Responders’ ability to effectively communicate and accomplish their mission.

Globe Manufacturing Company, LLC also supported the exercise by providing Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP) systems, a specially designed t-shirt that incorporates physiological monitoring technology and a belt for 3D tracking of personnel.

guardian center exercise

Guardian Centers in Perry, Georgia

About Mercer Engineering Research Center

Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC) is the research and applied engineering arm of Mercer University, a private university founded in 1833. For over 175 years the University has served Georgia as a highly-respected educational institution. In 1984, the School of Engineering was established at the Macon, Georgia campus, with the charter class beginning studies in 1985.

Two years later, in 1987, the Mercer Engineering Research Center was established under the School of Engineering to provide locally available engineering and scientific services and critical specialized technical skills. Today, MERC functions as a non-profit operating unit of the University, with the Executive Director, Dr. David Barwick, reporting directly to the University president, Mr. William D. Underwood.

To learn more, please visit MERC's website at www.merc-mercer.org.