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STARS Technical Facts & Figures

Graphic:  STARS logoCaptain Lehew W. Miller, III, STARS Director

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, State Police Superintendent, and Mark Moon, Motorola’s Vice President and General Manager signed a $329 million contract between Motorola and the Commonwealth of Virginia on July 13, 2004, for the design, construction and implementation of the Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS).  A ceremonial contract signing was held on July 16, 2004, in conjunction with a press conference.  The implementation phase of STARS is now underway.

The Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) provides multi-channel trunked digital voice and data wireless communications that are specifically designed for public safety and service requirements, based on Project 25 technology.  The existing State Police microwave radio network’s technology and capacity is being upgraded and redundant alternate paths are being added for outage recovery.  The STARS contract provides for essential public safety grade communications that can operate seamlessly throughout the Commonwealth for the following twenty-one (21) state agencies and facilitate interoperability with local governments and federal agencies:

Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Department of Health

Capitol Police

Department of Juvenile Justice

Charitable Gaming

Marine Resources Commission

Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Police

Department of Military Affairs

Department of Conservation and Recreation

Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy

Department of Corrections

Department of Motor Vehicles

Department of Emergency Management

Department of State Police

Department of Environmental Quality

Department of Transportation

Department of Fire Programs

Virginia Information Technologies Agency

Department of Forestry

Virginia Port Authority

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Federal Partnership for Interoperable


    Communications (FPIC)

To support the large increase of user agencies and implement the higher microwave radio frequencies, the microwave backbone of the system is undergoing a complete renovation.  The 87 existing tower sites will grow to 121 sites and the network is now designed to have alternate paths, or loops, to provide continuously high reliability in the event of a path outage.

Forty-eight of these 121 tower sites will be used for the actual two-way communications with the users’ mobile and portable radios.  From these sites, the Commonwealth personnel will receive quality, statewide, mobile radio coverage.  STARS will be one of the first geographically statewide systems to employ digital trunked technology in the VHF 150 MHz band.  This frequency selection greatly reduces the overall cost of the system as compared to the popular 800 MHz systems.

Virginia will be one of the first states to employ an Integrated Voice and Data (IV&D) land mobile radio architecture, which uses the same mobile radio for both voice and law enforcement computer communications.  Therefore, Virginia will have statewide mobile data coverage far greater than what could be obtained commercially.  Integrating the voice and data networks saves the Commonwealth the expense of a separate data infrastructure and an additional radio/modem in each vehicle.  The IV&D infrastructure will also provide Over-the-Air Re-Keying (OTAR) of the radio encryption, a recent technological innovation. This allows the encryption codes resident in the vehicle’s equipment to be managed and changed remotely.

The digital trunking technology allows different functional groupings of people to communicate privately within their own organizational elements as “talk-groups”, even while other groups are in communications among themselves.  Members of a talk-group can be located anywhere in the state and be found and included by the system's control computer.  As the members move throughout Virginia, the system will automatically track them so they will not be out of communications with other members of their group. Whenever an activity or emergency requires interoperability, different talk-groups can be combined to provide joint communications.

The digital trunking technology will also be carried a step further for the agencies that use portables while away from their vehicles. STARS will include a Digital Vehicular Repeater System (DVRS), which will translate the VHF signal used between the tower and vehicle, into a 700 MHz signal used for vehicle-to-portable communications.  Use of the DVRS will allow communications to be encrypted and secure over the entire radio circuit from the originator to the recipient.

Operational Stages:

COMLINC (Interoperability Network):

A single interface link based upon voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) was provided to fourteen participating localities in Central Virginia in 2006, to bring interoperability at no cost to the jurisdiction.  Two additional localities, Nottaway and Amelia Counties, were connected to COMLINC in 2007.  A grant project is underway to connect 26 localities in the Lynchburg and Roanoke areas to COMLINC.  Additional grant projects are in various stages to increase the participation in COMLINC.

In small and wide scale emergencies, localities may be connected to each other using COMLINC, thus providing ad hoc regional intercommunications. This has been used successfully in situations ranging from the State Fair to a Presidential visit to a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement activity.

Radio Interoperability:

STARS is designed to provide voice interoperable communications in various ways.  There is direct interoperability with the 21 participating agencies within STARS.  Separate talk-groups are programmed into the radios that the users can use when two or more agencies need to communicate.  In addition, VSP dispatchers have the capability to patch agency specific talk-groups with those other agencies if requested.  All of the mobile and portable radios located in the vehicles are programmed with the federal, local, and regional interoperability channels.  This allows STARS portable or mobile radios to communicate with VHF, 700 MHz and 800 MHz federal and local radios or their networks.  In addition, all law enforcement patrol vehicles are equipped with SIRS radios, a statewide law enforcement interoperability network.

A transportable 800 MHz five channel trunked radio network based upon Project 25 technology was also purchased with STARS to provide interoperable communications for responders to an incident.  All STARS portable radios are programmed to operate on this transportable site.  The trailer is equipped with fifty additional portable radios to provide to non-STARS responders so that a common radio network can be used.

Four tunnels in the Tidewater area are each being equipped with a three channel 800 MHz interoperability network.  A donor radio from the locality of each of the tunnel ends will be incorporated inside the tunnel for interoperable communications.  Communications from outside of the tunnel will be rebroadcast within the tunnel for all responders to use.

For agencies that choose not to participate in the COMLIC network, a radio will be installed at an appropriate STARS site to provide a single talk-path with each locality.  This can be patched into STARS for interoperability with the locality.

Important Dates:

July 1, 2000:   A contract with Hayes, Seay, Mattern & Mattern, Inc., and its communications subsidiary CTA Communications Inc., was established to provide microwave and land mobile radio engineering consultant services to assess existing land mobile radio resources, design an upgrade to the existing infrastructure, prepare the technical procurement documentation, support the installation and integration, and assure system performance and vendor compliance of a statewide public safety land mobile radio network. 

The following project documents in Adobe PDF format are available for review:Consulting contract, contract modifications, and contracted project deliverables between the Commonwealth of Virginia and CTA Communications Inc.:

Consultant Contract

Consultant Contract Modifications #1

Consultant Contract Modifications #2

Consultant Contract Modifications #3

Project Plan
Project Plan Revision 1
Project Plan Revision 2

Agency Needs Assessment Report

DPOR Needs Assessment Addendum

Consultant Contract Modifications #5   (July 1, 2004)

Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM MODIFICATION # 6 Contract
Contract No VA-000100-HSMM Modification #6 - Attachment A
Contract No VA-000100-HSMM Modification #6 - Attachment B

Contract No VA-000100-HSMM Modification #6 - Attachment C

Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification # 7
Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification # 7 - Attachment C

Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification # 8
Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification #8 - Attachment C

Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification # 9
Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification #9 – Attachment C

Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification #10
Contract Number VA-000100-HSMM Modification #10 - Attachment C

December 22, 2000:  

The Department of Technology Planning Implementation Report:
Implementation Report

May 23, 2001:  

Notice to Potential Land Mobile Radio Systems Integrators:
STARS Notice of SI Review

June 20, 2001:   On June 20, 2001, Executive Order Seventy-six (01) was signed officially recognizing STARS.  Executive Order Seventy-six created and named the STARS Management Group, a board composed of the Secretaries of Public Safety, Technology, Transportation, Natural Resources, and Finance, and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.  This board will provide policy direction and overall governance for STARS and review the procurement solicitations and contracts.

Executive Order Seventy-six further defined the STARS Project Management Team, which is located at VSP and currently consists of: Captain Michael E. Bolton, Program Director; Thomas A. Struzzieri, Project Manager; Patricia T. Trent, Procurement and Contracting Officer; Teresa M. Hudgins, Program Administrator; Cynthia L. Sandy, Program Support Technician; Clark W. LaFlare, Computer Systems Senior Engineer; Michael D. Deane, Telecommunications Engineer; and Noel Armstrong, Telecommunications Engineer.

August 1, 2001:  

STARS Request for Proposal #2001-035

RFP Volume I
RFP Volume II
RFP Volume III
RFP Volume III - Appendix P

RFP 2001-035 Addendum No. 1

RFP 2001-035 Addendum No. 2

RFP 2001-035 Addendum No. 3

Information Letter 11-16-01

RFP 2001-035 Evaluation and Award Criteria Posting

COV 9-6-01 Responses to Vendor Questions
COV 9-24-01 Response to Vendor Questions
COV 10-18-01 Response to Vendor Questions

Mandatory Pre-Proposal Conference Attendees

June 26, 2002:
On June 26, 2002, Executive Order Twenty-eight was signed, officially continuing STARS.

June 23, 2004:

STARS Contract:

Notice of Award

Contract #2001-035, Statewide Agencies Radio System

Contract Mod #1 Effective 4-12-05
Mod #1 Section 1 - System Integration - SOW_4-8-05
Mod #1 Section 3 - Transportable Sites
Mod #1 Section 8 - Transmitter Sites
Mod #1 Section 9 - Master Sites and VSP Communication  Centers
Mod #1 Section 13b - Project Schedule
Mod #1 Section 14b-Subsection 14.11.Training Matrix.Rev 3
Mod #1 Appendix 4c - Transmitter Site (Exempt from Public Disclosure)
Mod #1 Appendix 9 - Commonwealth of Virginia Subscriber Count (Exempt from Public Disclosure)
Mod #1 Appendix 21 - Motorola IP Gateway (Exempt from Public Disclosure)

Contract Mod #2 Effective June 3, 2005
Mod #2 Section 1.14 - Frequency Planning
Attachment 1 - Frequency Verification (Exempt from Public Disclosure)

Contract Mod#3 Effective 4-25-05
Mod #3 Section 1 – System Integration – SOW 4-22-05

Contract Mod #4 Final 6-8-05

Mod #4 Appendix 1a - STARS Terms and Conditions v33 Final 06-01-05


Contract Mod #5 Effective 6-30-05
Table of Contents
Section 1 - Executive Summary
Section 2a - System Overview
Section 2b - System Overview Diagram
Section 3a - Statement of Work
Section 3b - Project Schedule
Section 4 – Warranty Support
Section 5a – Option A System Pricing
Section 5b – System Pricing Notes
Section 6 – Brochure Master
Section 6 – Specs Master
Section 7 – Option B System Pricing
Section 8 – Option B Payment Schedule
Notice To Proceed for Mod #5

COMLINC (Commonwealth Link to Interoperable Communications)


Contract Mod #6 Final 10-24-05


Contract Mod #7 Final 2-15-06
Attachment A - Microwave Deletions 12-19-05

Attachment B - Microwave Equipment Final Design Modifications Division One 12-18-05

Attachment C - Microwave Civil Work Final Design Modifications 12-18-05
Overview of Changes to Sites in Division One


Contract Mod #8 Effective 12-7-05


Contract Mod #9 Final 6-27-06


Contract Mod #12 v.7 Final 9-28-06


Contract Mod #13 Final 6-27-06


Contract Mod #14 Final 6-26-06


Contract Mod #15 v.12 Final 9-28-06
Contract Mod #15 Attachment A 9-28-06


Contract Mod #16 v.2 Final 9-28-06
Contract_Mod_#16 v.2 9-28-06 Attachment A


Contract Mod #17 3-9-07 Final


Modification #18
    Table of Contents
    Section 1
    Section 2A
    Section 2B
    Section 3A
    Section 4
    Section 5A
    Section 5B
    Section 5C


Modification #19


Modification #20 Final 3-14-08


Contract Mod #21 Effective 11-30-07
Attachment B - STARS Spares Breakdown

Contract Mod #22 Effective 11-7-07

Contract Mod #23 Effective 11-7-07
Attachment A - Appendix 24B

Contract Mod #24 Final 06-18-08

Contract Modification # 25 11-20-08
Contract Modification # 25 11-20-08 Attachment A

Contract Mod #26 Final 3-14-08

Contract Mod #27
Contract Mod #27 Attachment A

Contract Mod #28 07-06-09
Contract Mod #28 Attachment A 06-30-09

Contract Mod #29 Final 06-16-08

Contract Mod #31 07-06-09
Contract Mod #31 Attachment A 07-06-09

Contract Mod #32 07-09-09
Contract Mod #32 Attachment A

Contract Mod #33 07-06-09

Contract Mod #34 06-25-09

Contract Mod #35 07-06-09

Contract Mod #37, version 3, Final


July 16, 2004:

Virginia Seal Governor Warner's Press Release:
Virginia Launches Unprecedented Multi-agency Communications System / Commonwealth and Motorola, Inc., Sign Contract for Statewide Agency Radio System

Motorola, Virginia State Police, and the STARS Program Management Team gather for a photo after the $329 million contract signing on July 16, 2004.
Motorola, Virginia State Police, and the STARS Program Management Team gather for a photo after the $329 million contract signing on July 16, 2004.

 Front row L to R: Michael Deane, Mike Archbold, Mark Moon, Lieutenant Colonel David Conklin, Jr., Tammy Eckels, Colonel W. Steve Flaherty, Bob Wartmann, Cynthia Sandy, and Noel Armstrong

Back row L to R:  Captain Michael Bolton, Patricia Trent, Clark LaFlare, Jerry Masak, Teresa Hudgins, David Dip, Clint Coyne, Mark Lojek, Thomas Struzzieri, and Steven Owens

  STARS VSP Team        STARS Program Management Team

Front row L to R: Mike Deane, Pat Trent, Cynthia Sandy, and Noel Armstrong

Back row L to R: Captain Michael Bolton, Clark LaFlare, Teresa Hudgins, and Tom Struzzieri

Colonel W. Steve Flaherty and Mark Moon signing the contract

Colonel W. Steve Flaherty and Mark Moon signing the contract that will facilitate the communications of 20 participating state agencies by upgrading the existing Virginia State Police land mobile and microwave radio networks.

  Program Management Team, and representatives from the 20 agencies attending the contract signing on July 16, 2004.

Motorola, Virginia State Police, STARS Program Management Team, and representatives from the 20 agencies attending the contract signing on July 16, 2004.

Frequently Asked Questions and other technical information:

          STARS FAQ

STARS Project Scope Statement

STARS Project Technology Brief

STARS Project Interoperability Specifics

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