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WPI receives award from Homeland Security Department to advance first-responder location
Date:10/29/2008

chnologies to be tested and developing a testing protocol. The protocol will be based on tests conducted during WPI's national workshop on indoor personnel location and physiological monitoring in August 2008 (see below), but will likely include a more rigorous evaluation conducted over a two- to three-day period.

WPI's Leadership in Precision Personnel Location Technology

Three years ago, WPI researchers launched the first national scientific meeting on indoor personnel location and physiological monitoring. The annual workshop attracts the top research groups from government, academic, and industry, who discuss the state of the field and current challenges, and demonstrate their technology. The meeting also attracts members of the first responder community, who provide a real-world perspective on the requirements of first responders and express the urgent need for reliable and affordable location and monitoring technology.

At the 2008 workshop, a day was set aside to permit developers to put their location and monitoring systems through their paces under realistic conditions. The tests used a scenario devised and executed by the Worcester (Mass.) Fire Department (WFD), in which a search team entered WPI's Atwater Kent Laboratories building to look for a lost and unresponsive firefighter. The search teams were aided, in turn, by three location systems, which used various technologies to continuously monitor the position of the firefighters, and two homing systems, which zeroed in on a signal emitted by a transmitter worn by the lost firefighter.

WPI's location and physiological status monitoring system and a WPI-developed homing system called "the Mantenna" fared particularly well. Both systems led the search team directly to the firefighter. The WFD representatives said the system would have allowed the search team to reach the firefighter in one session, without the need to refresh their air packs. The Mantenna not only
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Contact: Michael Dorsey
mwdorsey@wpi.edu
508-831-5609
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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