Sunsight Instruments, the industry leader in production of antenna alignment tools and antenna monitoring systems, wishes to commend the Federal Communications Commission for their unanimous ruling in favor of increased horizontal-axis location accuracy requirements for Wireless E911 systems, and for providing guidance on a path to develop and implement vertical-axis solutions and requirements.
It is estimated that in the US on average (as of Q2 2014) 75% mobile phones are still legacy phones-which do not offer the GPS, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth features of smartphones-yet nearly 3 in 4 calls to 911 are made from mobile phones. Sunsight Instruments filed comments on this matter under PS Docket No. 07-114 because Sunsight believes that improved location accuracy requirements for Wireless E911 systems will better protect the public and allow public safety First Responders to respond more quickly and efficiently to calls for assistance from mobile phones. A soon-to-be-published white paper "Improving E911 Location Accuracy" concludes that there is both a societal and economic benefit from improving Wireless E911 location accuracy, and found that improving EMS response times by one minute would have a societal benefit of over US$92 billion. In ruling for increased accuracy requirements, the FCC has made the right choice from a moral and economic standpoint. While the increased accuracy requirements are aggressive, we believe that they are attainable through careful engineering and attention to detail.
John Vetter, Sunsight's VP Business Development, said, "Realistically we recognize that achieving the newly mandated accuracy requirements will require creative thinking and smart solutions. Improving the accuracy of tower antenna locations and heights in the system databases, and improving accuracy of tower antenna azimuth and tilt elevation during initial alignment and maintenance/repair, are important first steps in meeting the new accuracy requirements."
Surveys and studies done by Sunsight Instruments and its partners/customers have found that the problem of tower antenna misalignment is very real. An audit conducted in the first half of 2013 found that out of 6,046 antennas surveyed, 2,541 were installed out of tolerance. 27% of the antennas were 4 - 10 degrees out of tolerance, and a surprising 15% of the antennas were more than 10 degrees out of tolerance. Providing accurate location for Wireless E911 starts with accurate tower, sector, and antenna location data as well as precision RF antenna alignments.
Sunsight Instruments leads the tower antenna alignment marketplace with the recent introduction of next-generation AAT Series antenna alignment tools. This new generation of tools was specifically designed to allow Installation Engineers to conduct tests and record report data with the highest accuracy. Azimuthal accuracy is now ±0.3° rms for the AAT-30. The new AAT series tools offers the lowest cost of ownership in the industry while providing advanced lightweight packaging, rugged design and feature capabilities. Features include remote access via any WiFi device for controlling, monitoring, entering data, and easily capturing and sending reports.
Sunsight Instruments, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sunsight Industries, is a development and manufacturing organization producing antenna alignment tools and antenna monitoring systems to support a variety of industries. The company is made up of Systems, Software, and RF Engineers from the telecommunications sector, combined with veteran NASA Mechanical and Electrical Engineers experienced in satellite sensor technologies.