Before the end of 2016, the IoT pilot project aims to focus on integrating the sensor technologies with a communication hub as part of S&T’s Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Apex Program.
To support first responders who risk their lives for their missions, it is important to constantly examine the applications of existing technologies to enhance their capability and protection. IAS is supporting the NGFR program by exploring and prototyping hardware and software systems in three mission areas: connectivity, risk reduction and situational awareness. IAS is working with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) to develop and demonstrate functional prototypes that integrate with the standards and systems identified by NGFR architects and leads.
In 2015, IAS and MIT LL held multiple demonstrations where responders leveraged the Next-Generation Incident Command System, or NICS, a web-based situational awareness and decision support tool developed by MIT LL in partnership with S&T.
During a demonstration in Lorton, Virginia, on October 19, responders were equipped with a collection of health status sensors that monitor a responder’s heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature, stress levels and more.
In a real time incident scenario, responders tested potential prototypes such as the Signal Location via Exterior Drone (SLED) to locate people in an unknown indoor environment. SLED is a small unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a Wi-Fi sensor. By flying the drone to a variety of locations, the cell phone’s Wi-Fi signal can be sampled and characterized in space. This information is then used to identify the location of the phone.
CAUSE: Partnership Beyond the Border
The Canada-U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE) series is a recurring border region communications interoperability experiment in collaboration with S&T, Defense Research and Development Canada Centre for Security Science (DRDC-CSS) and Public Safety Canada. The objectives of the CAUSE series are to explore how to build a binational communications interoperability capability and to connect, test and demonstrate the emerging operational technologies available between the two countries. The CAUSE series support the United States-Canada joint Beyond the Border Action Plan (BTB), a group charged with developing and facilitating multi-jurisdictional and cross-border interoperability.
Border region responders have limited shared situational awareness, communications interoperability and operational capability to effectively collaborate during a cross-border incident.
Planners met in 2015 to craft an emergency scenario for CAUSE IV. The CAUSE IV experiment will take place between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, on April 26-28, 2016. The Blue Water Bridge, the second busiest crossing between the U.S. and Canada, will serve as the primary site of the emergency scenario. The experiment will consist of two crucial parts.
The first part will test the interoperability of paramedic and health services by fielding cross-border broadband and wireless networks that examine voice communications, electrocardiogram tracing, live video, patient records and overall situational awareness (such as vehicle tracking) over the course of the emergency scenario.
The second part of the experiment will pilot a binational capability to automate and link models that currently operate independently for alerts, situational awareness, citizen engagement and mutual aid planning efforts. These benchmarks will be part of an integrated and semi-automated process and capability enabling emergency managers to more precisely and efficiently work together.
The lessons learned from CAUSE III are also vital to further knowledge on public alerting and the use of digital volunteers to leverage social media content. The CAUSE III Northeastern Scenario After-action Report was released in June 2015.
With major projects underway and so many achievements within the last year, IAS is looking forward to a very busy but productive 2016. The IoT pilot project phase II is developing under the important partnership with OGC and IJIS. IoT is also an integral component of OIC’s NGFR Spiral 1 and Spiral II, which will take place in 2016. Spiral 1 and Spiral 2 demonstrations are integration events which will highlight the ways various technologies can come together to improve communications and situational awareness among first responders. CAUSE IV is also around the corner with exciting outcomes, and MIT LL is hard at work to contribute to NGFR’s vision.
Stay tuned to IAS in 2016 to keep up with all the good work done by our partners, performers and staff members.