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Home - Emergency Sensing – Spring 2010

Global Relief Technologies (GRT), headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., and the University of Maine Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering are helping the Maine National Guard, Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and other partnering first responder agencies create such an information system. In a 15-month, $1 million project called SenseME, engineers are focusing on critical infrastructure sensor integration and logistical asset tracking to enhance the state’s emergency management.

The goal is to improve situation awareness — what is happening in an emergency, and where, when and how the state is responding. The effort has the potential to address disasters indoors and out, including those with swift devastation, such as tornadoes or floods, or with evolving impact, such as pandemics. Using sensor technology, the researchers hope to develop a common operating picture built with real-time information to better equip civil and military emergency management responders.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins helped secure $1.9 million in funding for the Maine National Guard. The allocation funds development of a rapid data management system by GRT, which specializes in mobile computing technology using real-time data for use in emergency management, military operations, and relief and reconstruction efforts worldwide. SenseME is a component of that rapid data management system.

“The research being conducted by (the University of Maine and) Global Relief Technologies and the deployment of the Rapid Data Management System will improve the ability of our nation’s soldiers and first responders to respond in times of crisis,” says Collins. “As we have unfortunately seen from past disasters, a breakdown in communication will hamper the ability of first responders and emergency management officials to take action.”

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