Popular Science Features a Firefighter Location and Monitoring System Developed at WPI

February 22, 2010

Gear UpThe March issue of Popular Science magazine includes a two-page article about technology developed by a WPI research team that can precisely locate and track firefighters inside burning buildings while also monitoring their vital signs and providing an early warning of flashover (a deadly condition when a room becomes completely engulfed in flames).

Developed over the past decade with more than $5 million in federal support, the integrated monitoring system is designed to help address the three leading causes of firefighter fatalities: stress-related heart attacks, traumatic injuries, and becoming lost or disabled inside buildings. The impetus for this lifesaving research was a massive1999 warehouse fire in Worcester, Mass., which claimed the lives of six firefighters who were unable to find their way out of the mazelike structure.

  • Read the Popular Science article.

  • Read more about this research in WPI’s annual research magazine.

  • Learn about the latest award for this research, a $1 million grant to support research on the flashover sensor.

  • Visit the website for the WPI Precision Personnel Location research team.