To ensure that radio end-users (first responders and other emergency response personnel) will have adequate radio communications on the new system, the PSERN Project began to conduct coverage testing all across King County on May 3, 2021. Testing involves staff physically traveling throughout the county, on every accessible roadway, and major waterway, to verify that the PSERN system meets the requirements.
For testing purposes, King County has been plotted into .2-mile squares, referred to as tiles, and the assessments will be made per tile. Testers will cover each tile twice, measuring both:
- Channel performance (e.g. signal quality)
- Audio quality (e.g. “Can you hear me now?”)
PSERN Coverage Testing within the metropolitan area will last approximately 6 months from May – October 2021 and the following is an overview of the logistics:
- Days/Hours: Testing vehicles will be circulating throughout King County Monday – Friday between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m./midnight. The 6-month testing duration and the times of day allow testing of the varied conditions that first responders and local government radio end-users may experience when they are needing to use the PSERN radios.
- Roadway Testing Vans: The Project vendor will be utilizing dark blue, red, or black Dodge minivans, outfitted with yellow strobe lights, antennas, and the vendor decal on the side. They will be driving slowly (e.g. 25 MPH).
- Waterway Testing Boats: For testing on some large lakes, the Puget Sound, and other major waterways, the Project will be utilizing boats.
The PSERN Project has notified E-911 Dispatch Centers, so that they are aware of the testing, but if anyone has questions, they are encouraged to contact PSERN-INFO@kingcounty.gov.