09.18.2009 08:55 AM
FEMA Selects Lab to Test EAS-CAP Gear

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has selected a site for a lab to test new Emergency Alert System equipment to make sure the gear complies with the new Common Alerting Protocol being developed.

Making equipment available that can receive a CAP message is the first of several milestones that must be accomplished before FEMA adopts CAP.

FEMA has awarded Eastern Kentucky University a contract to test EAS equipment to make sure it conforms with the CAP protocol developed by IPAWS, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. Testing equipment is the next step in FEMA's initiative to expand IPAWS with products based on an open standard.

Eastern Kentucky University will conduct the first tests, and vendors will be invited this month to apply for testing slots in October. To speed vendor participation, FEMA will pay for conformity assessment testing during the first year. FEMA will then publish a list of vendors whose products conform to the CAP IPAWS profile.

Eventually, FEMA intends to accredit several labs where vendors can have their equipment tested for a fee. In the next phase of its plan, FEMA will use the Telecommunications Certification Body process for independent third-party certification and testing. The TCB now tests to the FCC's Part 11 requirements for EAS. Any accredited TCB may also certify EAS products.

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