Cologne: 26.–28.11.2024 #PMRExpo

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Control centres

Control centres play a central role within the complete spectrum of deployment-critical communication - and their importance is growing. They face immense challenges given the technological, political, economic, and ecological developments. In addition to highly secure language services, broad band data services are also acquiring mission-critical significance. Multimedia content must be transmitted to the deployment or operation centres of security authorities, energy providers or transport companies. In the face of budget restrictions and the necessary interoperability with existing systems, the modernisation of communications systems, software solutions and devices can be challenging.

Technological challenges

The challenge for mission- and security-critical communications in coming years is found in the successive supplementing of the narrow-band TETRA digital radio network with a broadband network. For the control centres, the interaction between existing and new systems is of central importance.

Modernisation projects for the control centres include

  • conversion/migration to the Internet Protocol (IP) for emergency call connection and the digital radio network,
  • the use of multimedia applications like video and images,
  • the integration of emergency call apps and messengers,
  • interoperability across borders and uniform interfaces.

Here, not only technical but also legal aspects play a role, such as the need for protection of IT security, authorities, and data protection.

In future, the integration of artificial intelligence into the everyday routine of control centres will also be relevant. Research and development projects to this purpose are already in progress; manufacturers are offering the first solutions. Economic pressure may accelerate the consolidation of IT platforms or the increased use of cloud services such as control centre from software as a service (SaaS).

Standardisation of processes and system requirements

The operative management of complex IT systems poses great challenges for the operators of control centres. In coming years, processes and systems should be further optimised to secure operations in the face of complexity, limited resources, and the need for economic efficiency. It is necessary to further develop these systems to, for example, enable access to deployment information and processing via mobile end devices and intensified incorporation of social media into the work of the control centres. Organisational questions will also arise, such as Open-Source Intelligence, drone control from the control centre and the activation of sirens via TETRA from the control centres.