Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Tool Allows First Responders to Visualize Post-Event Disaster Environments

19.08.2011
Sandia, DHS modeling/simulation software debuted at national-level disaster exercise

Using iPad™ mobile devices, emergency preparedness officials and first responders participating last month in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE-11)were able, for the first time, to make use of a new, science-based software tool that allows them to view and modify accurate models of building damage and other post-event disaster effects.

With funding and direction from the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS/S&T) and support from FEMA’s National Exercise and Simulation Center, Sandia National Laboratories has developed the tool, known as the Standard Unified Modeling, Mapping and Integration Toolkit (SUMMIT). It was piloted at the NLE-11 exercise.

“Say you’re a fireman, medic, or police officer and you’re participating in an annual exercise to hone your preparedness skills,” said Karim Mahrous, the SUMMIT project lead at Sandia. “Such drills, you realize, are vital in mitigating the damage that might arise from natural disasters or terrorist events.

“Almost by definition, however, exercise planners have an inherent challenge in creating drill scenarios that can be vividly imagined and thus acted upon by participants,” Mahrous continued. “Typically, first responders playing in an exercise must pretend and dream up how a damaged building might look. With SUMMIT, there’s no more pretending.”

“The SUMMIT software tool, I believe, will be a phenomenal training aid for all responders within our county,” said David Moore, director of emergency management for Craighead County in Arkansas, which played a key role at NLE-11. “By having a graphical view of damaged areas, it’s much easier to comprehend what’s going on in the exercise and thus make smarter, firmer decisions.”

New level of realism and ‘best-of-class’ models

NLE 2011 took place May 16-20. First responders role-playing in the exercise in Jonesboro, Ark., could utilize iPads with the SUMMIT software, while others in a Washington, DC, central command post were able to see the visualization software on large screens. This enhanced, 3-D virtual view of damage available to participants in the field is expected to create a new level of realism and a common operating picture for players in future exercises at national, regional, and local levels.

“Preparing responders to work within a rapidly evolving, diverse, and multijurisdictional environment – often with limited or quickly changing situational understanding – is a major challenge,” said Jalal Mapar, the DHS/S&T program manager who oversees the SUMMIT program.

SUMMIT significantly improves the cycle of activities that emergency response teams undertake, including pre-event planning and equipping, training and exercises, and evaluation and improvement. By creating a collaboration environment that allows dynamic linking of “best-in-class” modeling and simulation tools and underlying data, SUMMIT enhances the effectiveness of preparedness activities while reducing the time and cost needed to train for, analyze, and respond to real or potential incidents.

“Many organizations and government agencies have already made significant investments in modeling and simulation, so this is not meant to be yet another modeling tool,” Mapar said. “What is urgently needed then is not a whole new set of models, but an easy, quick, and user-friendly way to access and link together the most appropriate models for a given emergency drill.”

Though current modeling tools are effective, they all incorporate different assumptions that currently require a large amount of time, resources, and human effort in order to properly synchronize each model’s output.

Making SUMMIT a pervasive part of emergency response

SUMMIT’s architecture will help a range of emergency preparedness professionals from the federal, regional, and local levels tap into existing models to ensure consistency, accuracy, and robustness when exercise scenarios are developed and played out.

Using various models and calculations, SUMMIT can input details on buildings and infrastructure, casualties, and other key pieces of information. During exercises, it will visualize an integrated “story” that can be made available for all players in a master control cell, much like what occurred in Washington, DC, during NLE-11.

The broader goal, said Mapar, is to make SUMMIT a pervasive part of preparedness and response for emergency managers, responders, and exercise teams in the federal, state, and local government.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia media relations contact: Mike Janes, mejanes@sandia.gov (925) 294-2447

Mike Janes | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.sandia.gov

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>