Precision Indoor/Outdoor Personnel Location Project

Click on this link to view research video clip entitled "Keeping Track in Fire, Smoke and Battle".

The overall goal of this project is to protect the lives of emergency responders and to enhance their ability to accomplish their missions through research and development of systems for personnel location and tracking, physiological status monitoring,  environmental sensing, and command and control.



Background and Context

Precision Personnel Locator Overview Flyer

This project brings together diverse technical capabilities from other centers and laboratories at WPI to address important problems for emergency responders, the most critical of which is precise location knowledge for each person. The primary center involved in the current work is the Convergent Technology Center (CTC). The Convergent Technology Center contributes expertise in advanced signal and image processing, information fusion, algorithm design, communication and computer networks.

Another important aspect of this work is that, as an academic enterprise, this project involves graduate students as research assistants, and undergraduate students as summer interns. The opportunity for research and development at the state of the art in communications, computation, and positioning, is an unparalleled experience for our students.

Current Work

Originally funded by the National Institute for Justice of the US Department of Justice, work on development of a prototype Precision Indoor/Outdoor Positioning System for use by firefighters, law enforcement, and corrections personnel was completed in 2006.

A grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration, Fire Prevention and Safety Program for “Integrated Firefighter Locator and Physiological Monitoring” was received in 2006. This program integrated, for the first time, a unique 3-D location system and ‘wear and forget’ physiological stress monitoring system for the fire service. Results of this work can be seen on the "Integrated Firefighter Locator and Physiological Monitor" pages.

DHS S&T, R-Tech TechSolutions funded an assessment of location technologies during 2009.

In August, 2009 a new award from FEMA was received for "Fireground Environment Sensor Monitoring System".

The 10th anniversary of the Worcester warehouse fire was December 3, 2009 and the local news network highlighted the "Mantenna" prototype by Duckworth and Cyganski and their team. The local newspaper also featured this article on their research.

Detailed information is available by accessing the links listed above.

Contact Information

Please feel free to contact any of the faculty listed on the People page. Following is the primary contact person for the PPL project:

Dr. R. James Duckworth
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609

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Last modified: February 04, 2014 11:22:37