Johns Hopkins APL, DHS Test New Tech for Emergency Response Experiment

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate to conduct a nine-month field test to evaluate the use of new technologies for public safety operations.

The lab developed, integrated and verified system architecture, software applications and technologies for DHS S&T’s First Responders Group to support the 2017 Grant County Technology Experiment in Washington, APL said Tuesday.

DHS and APL tested 15 situational awarenesss, network connectivity and data management technologies at the Gorge Amphitheater, which has a capacity of over 50K and often sees cases of assault and drug overdose during major events.

Technologies covered by the assessment include location reporting platforms, situational awareness technologies and unmanned aerial vehicles designed to transmit videos to command centers.

John Contestabile, program manager for emergency response systems at APL, said that establishing good rapport with end users and indentfying their needs are crucial for ensuring the success of testing operations.

“DHS has really focused on making our sometimes-dangerous jobs much safer, especially for rural responders who many times don’t have access to such advanced resources,” added Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones. 

APL also developed a TechEx scenario to help Grant County first responders realistically identify gaps and modernization requirements for future emergency events.

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