In disasters and emergencies, first responders need communication tools that are tested and proven to work – consistently, securely, reliably and smoothly. That’s where FirstNet’s new Innovation and Test Lab comes in.

State-of-the-art testing and innovation for public safety’s dedicated network

Located at First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet Authority) tech headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab (FirstNet Lab) is a state-of-the-art laboratory in which the FirstNet Authority tests public safety functionality and features unique to the FirstNet network, including quality of service; priority; preemption; enhanced situational awareness technologies and applications; and future public safety functions, services and applications.

Built to the highest standards

The FirstNet Lab is a premier telecommunications technology innovation and test lab, built with the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standards in mind. It has all the electrical power and network connectivity needed for FirstNet Authority to stage equipment and complete its own network validation and testing. The FirstNet Lab setup includes battery backup and a generator to maintain power for continuity of testing.

Public Safety Immersive Test Center

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) partnered to build the Public Safety Immersive Test Center in Boulder, Colorado, to spur the development and deployment of technologies critical to effective public safety response.

Through this partnership, NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division and the FirstNet Authority plan to enable research and development, education, and training, by offering the facility at no cost to public safety agencies and organizations that support public safety response efforts, including private sector and academic institutions. The facility is designed to help answer key research questions around the future of user interfaces and location services for public safety training and operations.

Located in the FirstNet Authority building, the center is approximately 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) of customized space equipped with a motion capture system, 42 high speed optical tracking cameras, a variety of augmented and virtual reality headsets, and gear and fixtures that add a tactile component to simulations. This equipment helps responders run through various scenarios, such as simulations of search and rescue activities or coordinated complex terrorist attacks. The FirstNet Authority and NIST plan to update the space regularly with enhancements such as haptics and metrology, 5G, edge computing, WebXR capabilities (which allow virtual and augmented realities to be combined) and other technological advances for public safety operations.

Technology developers will have the opportunity to test their equipment in realistic scenarios, and first responders will also be able to participate.

To learn more about the space or plan a visit, email Kim Coleman.