improving interoperability of public emergency response communication
devices with each other—and with cell phones, CB radios and
walkie-talkies—is continuing development this summer, providing a
testing ground for planners and experiential learning for School of
Information Studies students.
and software under development at the iSchool, Virginia Tech and the
Rochester Institute of Technology is designed to maintain communication
between emergency responder devices—even if cell towers and Internet
networks go down during a natural or manmade disaster. iSchool students
will be evaluating whether this expanded communication capability to
engage with citizens and other stakeholders at an emergency or disaster
incident is beneficial.
technologies, called iDAWG (Intelligent Deployable Augmented Wireless
Gateway), work with a new type of software application, called edgeware.
The edgeware application to be tested is called “Gridstream X.” Both
initiatives have been developed in the Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed (WiGiT)
at the iSchool. Through WiGiT-developed cognitive radio interfaces and
the abilities of the “Gridstream X” software, iDAWG is intended to
integrate with the Federal Emergency Management Association’s (FEMA)
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). IPAWS is the
communication system used by most police and fire agencies and emergency
to iSchool Professor Lee McKnight, part of the program’s research
aspects this summer includes observation of a full-scale, multi-agency
emergency exercise. The iSchool has arranged for 25 of its students to
participate as observers in an on-the-ground crisis incident exercise
involving 44 agencies in Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego counties. The
inter-agency drill also will help assure that the responders meet
communication and response standards for policies and training in
accordance with guidelines for local and state emergency response, plus
federal FEMA and Homeland Security standards.
iDAWG initiative is proceeding with funding from the National Science
Foundation Partnerships for Innovation. The three schools’ current
efforts also involve creation of a next-generation secure resilient
serverless transmission network, which integrates cognitive radio for
crisis response using wireless grids.
iSchool has been involved in research work on wireless grid technology
since 2002, a track record that puts Syracuse University and Virginia
Tech at “the center of research on wireless grids edgeware and cognitive
radios, with a decade of experience in the field, which no one else can
claim,” McKnight observed.
work is underway with the Rochester Institute of Technology on more
information-gathering that would include aerial recording and
transmission of visual incident information, according to McKnight. This
is the Advanced Situational Awareness System (ASAS), a project of the
iSchool and Rochester Institute of Technology’s Information Products Laboratory for Emergency Response (IPLER).
crisis incident exercise is providing a range of educational
experiences for iSchoolers, from undergraduate and master’s students to
executive Ph.D. and doctoral graduate program professionals.
Joshua Foust will be recording response aspects in photo and video
formats on location during the training exercise. Graduate students will
also be positioned in the WiGiT lab in Hinds Hall to observe and record
occurrences and responses to iDAWG. Several iSchool doctoral students
are using the exercise as a component in their thesis projects on
outcomes. For example, Joseph Treglia’s thesis examines information
sharing among the participating agencies and also gauges community
engagement and participation. Dale Meyerrose, who will be on site during
the exercise to serve in a media coordinating capacity, is assessing
wireless grid applications in the medical field. Robert Hartling is
researching the potential of improved communication through iDAWGs in
making crisis situations more manageable. Tyson Brooks is studying how
the wireless grid works in a cloud security environment, according to
involved in and staying informed about the weekend exercise will be
funders and potential business and information technology partners,
McKnight noted. He said that VRC, a SU Wireless Grid Lab funding source,
is sending CEO Roberto Montoya to visit during the exercise. National
Instruments is contributing cognitive radios for the drill. Wireless
Grids Corporation is the maker of the Gridstream X software, which was
founded by McKnight in 2004.
articles and assessments will be produced after the exercise and will
be presented in scholarly journals and discussed in forums. That
includes the Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council annual conference, where WiGiT version 0.2 specs are planned for demonstration, McKnight noted.
Source: Syracuse University