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, email@example.com (925) 294-2447
Mike Janes | Newswise Science News
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences