Be it in times of peace and prosperity or discord and struggle, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will always support its vital missions—and that includes supporting emergency preparedness. Here are just a few highlights from the past year:
- Deployed the Team Awareness Kit (TAK) mobile situational awareness platform with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard to secure Super Bowl LIV in Miami and New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.
- Led Smart City Interoperability Reference Architecture (SCIRA) integration for the city of St. Louis, Missouri, with a two-day pilot in January and a series of five realistic exercise scenarios over the summer. “Technology is vitally important to protecting citizens, delivering emergency services and supporting public safety.” – Robert Gaskill-Clemons, chief technology officer for the city of St. Louis
- Provided critical chemical hazard support in the Gulf Coast in anticipation of Hurricane Sally by researching and identifying critical infrastructure in the storm’s predicted path. Leveraged experience from previous storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2015 to secure infrastructure that is particularly susceptible to chemical release.
- Developed Homeland Explosive Consequence and Threat (HExCAT) modeling tool that estimates human health consequences from various scenarios to prepare state and local leaders for an explosive attack. “HExCAT is a holistic risk assessment tool that informs decision-makers like governors and mayors about how to invest in security, plan for operations and mitigation, and make important decisions for securing public spaces.” – Dr. David Reed, chemist at S&T’s Chemical Security Analysis Center
- Successfully tested Bridge for Public Safety (Bridge4PS) mobile application during the Los Angeles Marathon. The app was used by 500 public safety personnel from 12 organizations across four jurisdictions.
- Partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to conduct three successful operational evaluations of the Somewear secure satellite communications solution, a body-worn device integrated with TAK capabilities to provide situational awareness anywhere in the world. U.S. Air National Guard 131st Rescue Squadron successfully employed Somewear to coordinate and monitor a civilian rescue operation 1,200 miles off the Pacific coast.
- Tested Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LRAUV) oil spill-mapping robotic system under Arctic ice. LRAUV can travel for nearly 400 miles without recharging.
- Expanded the Information Sharing Assessment Tool (ISAT) to include additional scenarios and question sets so public safety agencies can better understand their information-sharing capabilities and gaps. “By taking the ISAT, public safety users can answer the question ‘What should I consider to improve my agency or jurisdiction’s operational information sharing capabilities?’” – Fire chief Chris Tubbs, Southern Marin Fire Protection District
- Developed iPhone/iPad version of the Team Awareness Kit (TAK), which is interoperable with existing Android and Windows TAK platforms. iTAK provided situational awareness support for the 2020 presidential election and is scheduled to be used by numerous DHS operational components for the 2021 presidential inauguration.
- Facilitated a virtual conversation about leveraging technology to mitigate risks and save lives with Clearing the Path: Responding to Disasters During a Crisis, the first installment of S&T’s Securing our Future Now: S&T’s Path Forward webinar series.
Inaugural presentation with FEMA, state and local governments, and nongovernmental organization partners reinforced S&T’s whole-of-government approach to national recovery and resiliency.