Kentucky Awards Radio Contract
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- May 01, 2000
The Kentucky State Police recently awarded a $22.8 million contract to Motorola
Inc. for a statewide digital two-way radio system. The new Astro 25 system
will replace the agency's analog model, which is more than 20 years old
and in constant need of repair.
The Astro 25 system platform will operate on "narrowband" radio channels
to comply with the Federal Communications Commission's mandate that public-safety
two-way radio systems be able to operate on 12.5 KHz channels rather than
the 25 KHz channels that are commonly used today.
The Astro 25 system will be installed at 97 sites throughout the state and
will include more than 200 base stations and 1,250 mobile radios. It will
use multicast technology, which transmits a communication from a number
of different transmitters on different frequencies and then automatically
selects the one with the strongest signal to receive the communication.
This technology better serves officers in the field, especially those in
"The clarity of this new system will be a dramatic improvement over
what we have now," said Capt. Kenneth Hardin, communications commander for
the Kentucky State Police. "It will also improve our coverage, especially
in "dead spots,' and there's an officer emergency button that notifies the
nearest post electronically immediately if pushed. The narrowband makes
it more difficult to scan [our frequencies] with a regular scanner."
System installation is set to begin in this year's second quarter for
the 18-month contract, and the entire system should be complete by the third
quarter of 2001, Hardin said.