ESC Plans Ahead for Communications Outages
Vol.8 Issue 5
CDR for FirstNet – A Compact Rapid Deployable for FirstNet Users

The Enterprise Service Center’s National Wireless Program (NWP) recently purchased two Compact Rapid Deployables (CRDs) for the Aeronautical Center’s emergency use and to be able to demonstrate their use and viability to other organizations within the FAA. The CRD is a compact cellular tower for use in emergencies when cellular service has been interrupted or is nonexistent.

To support emergency responders, the unit generates an area of FirstNet Cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. The cellular range is up to 1/2 mile, provides high-speed satellite internet, Wi-Fi range up to 1000’, is weatherproof, and has been rated by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association as an outdoor electrical enclosure and comes with a FirstNet Ready Router. The CRD can be set up by a single person in approximately eight minutes, rolls through standard Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doorways, has a 60-hour run time before refueling, operates in -22 degrees to 122 degrees F. The Deployable is easily transportable on any trailer hitch and is a fully functional FirstNet Cell-on-Wheels. Two units were purchased in support of the Aeronautical Center’s two square miles in case of an emergency.

Cell phone in a person’s hand

These units can be used to respond to a variety of natural disasters from severe weather to wildfires across the nation. For example, on December 30, 2021, grass fires broke out in Boulder County, Colorado. Emergency Responders at the Boulder County sheriff’s office called in assistance from FirstNet when a macro cellular tower site received fire damage and was not operable. The two combined fires burned 6,026 acres, and did $513,212,589.00 in damages, destroying 1,084 buildings. The damaged cellular tower site was located on top of a hill that was covered with ice and snow, and could only be accessed by an all-terrain vehicle.

The AT&T FirstNet CRD was loaded on the back of a truck and was driven to the top of the hill where it provided critical cellular service for emergency responders. Once road conditions improved, one of AT&T’s FirstNet Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatColts) was deployed to the area to provide continued cellular service for a wider range and more concurrent users.

For more information about the Enterprise Service Center’s (ESC) National Wireless Program’s CRDs please call (405) 954-5408.

Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) seal