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Open-source LTE network for mountain search and rescue trial on Campus West rugby pitch

Posted on 16 June 2021

On 27 May 2021 Dr Yi Chu, Professor David Grace and the technical team led by Andy White carried out a field trial of the open-source LTE network for mountain search and rescue on the University's rugby pitch.

A light-weight private LTE network was set up at the site using a credit card size software defined radio and a laptop, with the Internet backhaul provided by a commercial LTE router.

A team led by David Lund from Safenetics joined the field trial with ruggedised handsets with push-to-talk, push-to-video and group chat/video functions to assist the mountain search and rescue tasks.

These functions have been tested across handsets connected to several different networks, including a private LTE network, WiFi hotspot from a smartphone, and the WiFi network from the commercial LTE router. This was the first open-source LTE network field trial for the MANY project at York, with future plans to extend operations to a private LTE/5G network from a Helikite to provide coverage for temporary events.