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Team Awareness Kit (TAK) – Enhancing Homeland Security Enterprise Collaboration on the Mobile Edge Whitepaper

Team Awareness Kit (TAK) – Enhancing Homeland Security Enterprise Collaboration on the Mobile Edge Whitepaper

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in collaboration with project stakeholders, has identified a communication system that can help first responders identify, track, and coordinate resources during an incident.

TAK is a cloud-native server application that facilitates exchange of situational awareness data. Intermittent radio transmissions from unknown responders at unknown locations are replaced with visual elements shown on a mobile screen. The app uses GPS and on-screen maps to give the user a real-time view of the incident. This new situational awareness capability includes weather conditions and first responder tracking to see where units are located, as well as terrain and other topographical elements.

The Team Awareness Kit (TAK) is a government-off-the-shelf app for Android smartphones. TAK was originally developed in 2010 by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for U.S. Special Forces and is widely deployed across the Department of Defense.

As an information broker, TAK provides bridging adapters to inject and export situational awareness data securely and in real time. TAK enables collaboration across multiple components using different equipment, radio frequencies or encryption—supporting multiple types of encrypted data for text, files, photos, and video. The system also stores the situational awareness information that flows through it for auditing and after-action analysis.

DHS S&T is providing a whitepaper to provide additional guidance to first responders who are considering TAK to augment their ability to communicate critical mission data as part of its daily and emergency operations.

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