This is a new page and still far from complete.

This is the public planning page for  RELIEF 12-4, 13-17 August 2012, Paso Robles, California. OpenBTS participants include:

Range will also be participating in  JIFX with other partners not listed here.

Favorite toys:

Other participants:

This will be the largest RELIEF exercise to date. It will be based on reproducing and studying problems encountered by relief workers responding to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

As a bonus, a security "red team" will be out trying to snoop, spoof and break our systems during part of the exercise.

General Deployment Plan

This section under construction.

The Core Range OpenBTS Network

IP Topology

BTS units at McMillan will sit behind a NAT with a central server ("legba"). This central server will tunnel back to a Range server in SF ("hermes") for connection to the rest of the world. See notes below.

What about BTS units not at McMillan? They will connect directly to hermes through whatever backhaul is available and will be able to access legba via VPN. This means that all services available from legba will also be available from remote sites, assuming that legba has sufficient connectivity to support the hairpinning. To minimize hairpinning, internetworked RTP traffic can be routed directly through hermes with only legba involved only for signaling.

Frequency Plan

We will be operating in the DCS1800 band. Our frequencies are 1818-1822 downlink, ARFCNs 578-594. Uplink 1723-1727.

Siting Equipment

  • Medweb will bring their usual VSAT van.
  • Range will also be bringing a van with generator and push-up mast.
  • Range will have two man-portable mast kits.
  • Range has a small (8') tripod for even more portable tests

OpenBTS Nodes

Node 1: Snap unit

  • 1 W single-ARFCN 2.5G node
  • man-portable push-up mast
  • Solar-Stik kit or other solar source
  • hill overlooking McMillan

Node 2: Snap unit

  • 1 W 2-ARFCN 2.5G node
  • man-portable push-up mast
  • location and power TBD, options include solar, grid and Q-Gen JP8 portable generator

Node 3: 5150 unit

  • 10 W 2-ARFCN 2.5G node
  • Medweb's frame with easy-up mast, if they have it, Range's van otherwise

Node 4: 5150 unit

  • 10 W 2-ARFCN 2.5G node
  • Range's van

Node 5: highly mobile

  • 200 mW single-ARFCN (dev kit + duplexer)
  • in a car, deployed with small tripod
  • powered from the car
  • backhauled via BGAN? If so, we can take it anywhere. Otherwise we are limited to RELIEF's islands of wifi access.

Yate Core Network

We will test our new yate core network as part of this exercise.

Tropo Call Routing

Fixed-Number Routing

Medweb IVR/SMS Support

WebRTC Applications

Conference Call Notes

There is a weekly planning call. Contact John Crowley for information.

25 June 2012 0900 PDT, "Comms" Thread

Challenge of tying things together:

  • Multiple cellular networks. (L-M, OpenBTS, others?)
  • Airfield area vs. cantonment areas vs. FOB

There is a wimax/wave-relay link on a hilltop near McMillan forming a relay between McMillan and the cantonment area. The associated IP LAN covers McMillan, the FOB and parts of the cantonment area.

There is VZN and AT&T commercial cellular coverage at the cantonment area. Commercial service at McMillan is spotty. No coverage at the FOB. There will also be bent-pipe relay in an aircraft at 5000' AGL giving IP service over a range of about 80 miles. It is an off-channel repeater, though, and probably not useful for standard cellular. What is the frequency range on that bent pipe? I missed it, but for cellular it probably doesn't matter.

Everyone wants live video streaming, even if it means using commercial cellular networks to carry it.

OpenBTS? We can make a GSM/GPRS footprint anywhere that has IP connectivity, at least in principle. In practice, IP routing can be a problem if we don't plan ahead. Likewise with numbering.

L-M is bringing their usual multi-standard COLT, plus a an extra portable BTS side site.

I propose:

  • Letter from NDU or NPS for FCC application.
  • Agree ahead of time about numbering for critical sites.


  • FCC application
  • published frequency plan, participation in the "incident action plan"
  • Do we want a unified numbering plan for SIP systems on-site?
  • Range still needs to submit application and white paper.

5 July 2012 1000 PDT, "General" Thread

Data management was a big topic. The various imagery systems produce a lot of data, and managing it to maximum advantage is not trivial.

Logistics was another big topic. "We we want to do is like Travelocity for multi-modal HADR (humanitarian aid and disaster relief) cargo transport, with real time shipment updates." Like everything else in RELIEF, smooth cooperation among commercial freight operators, NGOs, and US DoD elements is the holy grail and complicated by differences in culture, systems and terminology.

16 July 2012 0900 PDT, "Comms" Thread

Discussed frequency coordination, IP backhaul availability and trunking between the Range OpenBTS SIP switch and a SIP switch in the Lockheed-Martin COLT. Range agreed to give Lockheed-Martin access to their SIP switch during Range's pre-deployment mock-up starting on 18 July.

30 July 2012 0900 PDT, "Comms" Thread

  • wave relay btwn mcmillan and the fob?
  • flyable payloads? snap? dev kit + duplexer?
  • testing with viasat

Network config notes

OpenVPN setup:
I set up the network using this:

On server (hermes): /etc/openvpn/server.conf

On clients (legba, right now): /etc/openvpn/client.conf

For server setup:

sudo apt-get install openvpn
mkdir /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
cp -r /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/easy-rsa/2.0/* /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/

Next, edit /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/vars adjusting the following to your environment:

export KEY_CITY="Winston-Salem"
export KEY_ORG="Example Company"
export KEY_EMAIL=""

cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
source vars

./build-key-server myservername
cd keys/
cp myservername.crt myservername.key ca.crt dh1024.pem /etc/openvpn/

cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
source vars
./build-key client1

You'll want to copy client1.crt, client1.key, and /etc/openvpn/ca.crt to the client.
In /etc/openvpn/, and define them in /etc/openvpn/client.conf.

When configuring a client, you will need to edit the "remote", "ca", "cert", and "key" config values.


DHCP and DNS on legba.

If the subnet that the network sits on changes from, then a new reverse zone
file needs to be added and the renege networks domain zone file updated.
These are in /etc/bind/zones/. There is something in each one that looks sort of like a date, 
this is the serial number. It is encoded like our 5150 serial numbers.
Make sure that this is increased after each edit or the changes won't apply.

/etc/init.d/bind9 restart

for DHCP, the settings are in /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf

If the subnet changes, you will need to edit this file with the correct ip settings.
To apply the DHCP server changes:

/etc/init.d/isc-dhcp-server restart