MERC Conducts RF Interference Research at the Atlanta Airport

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (April 15, 2015)  The Atlanta Airport Fire Rescue Department conducted a mock disaster drill on 15 April, 2015 in compliance with FAA requirements for all major airports to conduct firefighter certification exercises every three years.

MERC had the opportunity to monitor the RF spectrum while more than 100 firefighters and other First Responders extinguished a burning plane simulator in one area of the airport’s training compound and then evacuated and treated nearly 100 role players from another plane.  The purpose of the exercise was to test the firefighter response time, to test and validate First Responder equipment, and to take a snap shot in time of the Atlanta Fire Departments overall state of readiness to respond to actual event.

The MERC team arrived two hours prior to the exercise and selected the best vantage point for positioning equipment to monitor and record the RF spectrum, in search of indications of communications interference.

In addition to the First Responders and role players, local and national media were also present, to include CNN and Fox News.  Nearly 100 civilians were also invited to observe the training and their steady use of cell phones to take and share videos and photos also contributed to a robust RF environment.


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