WPI to Host International Workshop Focused on Tech Solutions for First Responders

August 01, 2012

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At a Glance


Seventh Annual International Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Technology


Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Worcester, Mass.; all programs in the Campus Center unless otherwise noted


Aug. 6 and 7, 2012


The annual workshop is the only comprehensive forum in the field that brings together about 120 leading researchers from industry, academia, and government, members of the first responder community, and representatives of federal, state, and local governments to discuss progress made in indoor location technology over the past decade, to explore challenges and priorities for the future, and to see how actual location systems perform in realistic search and rescue simulations.

Developed in 2006 by WPI's precision location research team, the workshop brings together all of the key players in indoor location to assess the state of the field and share ideas. 

On Twitter

Follow the workshop @WPINews and use hashtag #WPIPPL2012 to join the conversation.

Aug. 6 Highlights

8:20 a.m. – Workshop welcome from Jalal Mapar, program manager, Department of Homeland Security  

Science and Technology Directorate

9 a.m. – Department of Homeland Security S&T Program for First Responders (Moderator: Jalal Mapar)

10:30 a.m. – Session on Military and Training Systems

12:30 p.m. – Remarks by U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass.

12:35 p.m. – Keynote speaker: Paul Benda, chief of staff and director of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency

3:15-5:15 p.m. – More than a dozen technology demonstrations by companies, universities, organizations (see list below)

Aug. 7 Highlights

8 a.m. to noon – First-ever public demonstration of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s first responder location system known as GLANSER (location TBD)

12:30 p.m. – Keynote speaker: Fabio Belloni, principal researcher and High Accuracy Indoor Positioning chief architect of the Nokia Research Center in Helsinki, Finland. Topic: “Bringing Navigation Indoors.”

3 p.m. – System Demonstration Results – Worcester Fire Department


• Honeywell of Morristown, N.J.

• Venture Ad Astra of Anchorage, Alaska

• Trimble Navigation Limited of Sunnyvale, Calif.

• Perpetua Power Source Technologies of Corvallis, Ore.

• Globe Manufacturing Co. of Pittsfield, N.H.

• Propel LLC of Providence, R.I.

• Argon ST of Fairfax, Va.

• TRX Systems, Inc. of Greenbelt, Md.

• Thales UK of the United Kingdom

• Q-Track Corp. of Huntsville, Ala.

• MSA of Cranberry of Township, Pa.

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of Australia

• Lambda:4 Entwicklungen GmbH

• TruePosition of Berwyn, Pa.

• University of Michigan

• Carnegie Mellon University

• UCLA School of Medicine

• Michigan Tech

• National Fire Protection Association

About WPI's First Responder Safety Research Program

Motivated by the deaths of six Worcester, Mass., firefighters in a December 1999 warehouse blaze, researchers in electrical and computer engineering and fire protection engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have been working on innovative technology designed to safeguard first responders. WPI's work has been supported by more than $5 million in funding from the Departments of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other federal agencies. WPI researchers continue to develop various location and tracking systems and other technology tools for first responders.