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The Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response vehicle (THOR) was built to operate under any network in any environment, from dense forests during wildfires to remote military settings. The network allowed autonomous robot communication to a self-driving battery delivery vehicle, video streaming between people and vehicles in the field, data from sensors on devices operating in an austere environment, and 5G mobile edge computing being used to help decision-makers by providing a single operating picture of all of these data feeds in real-time, according to Verizon. THOR is a prototype, 5G-based disaster response and command hub vehicle — and there are no present plans to build another.
It’s designed to be National Incident Management System or NIMS-1 compliant and offers full radio interoperability and onboard Joint Operations Center services. It also provides “a multitude of connectivity options,” spanning private 5G, commercial 4G LTE, Land Mobile Radio and tactical radio, wireless networking, microwave, mesh, and more — together in one package. Other components include 4G/5G radios, a rear command center, a camera, a 6-seat cabin, and an exterior touch screen display.
Director of Verizon Response and Public Safety Operations Cory Davis told nextgov.com it’s also equipped with a tethered drone to capture an aerial view “that can be fed over the network to devices on the ground and the command center below, potentially helping those in public safety or the military with risk and damage assessment, situational awareness or search and rescue operations.” “THOR is a bit like a Swiss-Army-Knife on wheels,” he added.
“In situations ranging from fighting wildfires in forests where network connections and coverage can be challenging to the devastation and infrastructure damage caused by earthquakes, public safety professionals face the potential of coverage and technology gaps or an out-of-service network,” Davis noted. But Verizon built the futuristic vehicle to confront those challenges. “In a field where seconds always matter, and lives are on the line, connectivity and reliability matter,” he added. THOR consists of the “full menu” of emerging and existing tech solutions. But Davis said future iterations for public safety or the military could potentially go “a la carte.”
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