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 New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions
12.12.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs
11.12.2018 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>