What are Bi-Directional Amplifiers – BDA and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BDA.pngA Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) is a signal booster used to enhance and maintain wireless and two-way radio communications inside and around a structure (buildings). BDAs are commonly used to enable uninterrupted communication in areas often referred to as dead areas such as parking garages, stairwells, tunnels, and other enclosed or obstructed areas.

A properly designed and installed system ensures uninterrupted wireless and radio signal communications for law enforcement professionals, firefighters, and EMTs responding to emergencies; fires, medical emergencies, and domestic threats.

public safety DAS carrier DASThere are a variety of BDAs to consider based on the building materials, site layout, and additional site conditions that may result in signal interference. The right amplifiers/repeaters will boost and distribute a signal covering various frequencies if the correct system design is implemented. For example, the correct power and gain capabilities need to be selected based on your specific site conditions. However, the wrong ones can result in signal failure when two-way radio signal communications are needed the most by emergency responders and police.

You’ll find BDAs are incorporated into Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) for wireless communications within and around buildings.  The building owner or operator is responsible for testing their building and they are required to install a system that meets the jurisdiction’s applicable code.

What is a Distributed Antenna System (DAS)?

A distributed antenna system is a network of spatially separated antenna nodes connected to a common source via a transport medium. DAS provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure and may be deployed indoors (iDAS) or outdoors (oDAS). In general, DAS is used to increase wireless signals within and around buildings.

Are you in compliance with Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement System (ERCES) requirements for your locality?

ERCES code applies to Public Safety DAS and radio enhancement systems as mandated under International Fire Code IFC-510 and the National Fire Protection Association standards NFPA 72, Chapter 24. Different jurisdictions can have different code requirements (and often do), but they frequently base their requirements on codes written by organizations such as:

  • National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA)
  • International Code Council (ICC)
  • International Fire Code (IFC)
  • International Building Code (IBC)
  • First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)

Currently, there is no unified set of rules established at the federal level and different jurisdictions often have different ordinances. Many large cities have drafted codes to govern public safety communications. As a result, the specific location of your building(s) dictates which codes you must meet based on the local authorities’ requirements. Compliance is required for new construction as well as many older buildings in certain jurisdictions.

To learn more about our solutions for Public Safety BDA & DAS, please contact us for future information.