Thursday, January 22, 2009

Geospatial Location Accountability and Navigation System for Emergency Responders (GLANSER)

DHS Science and Technology (S&T) is initiating the Geospatial Location Accountability and Navigation System for Emergency Responders (GLANSER) BAA to meet the expressed rapid technology development needs of first responders.

First Responders, for example firefighters, often operate in extreme incident environments which can range from a National Incident Management System (NIMS) Type 5 to Type 1 situation. These incident environments may expose the first responders and their equipment to extreme high and low temperatures and humidity, thermal radiation, direct flame contact or exposure, very noisy and smoky conditions in outdoor, indoor and or subterranean areas. In addition, during the response or rescue mission the responder may become disoriented and disabled even in relatively small incidents.

Currently the first responder community is unable to accurately locate, track and monitor personnel inside structures during an incident, visualize the location and tracks of the responders on a geospatial map and or structure, and provide that information in a standard way between the interested parties during an incident. A robust and flexible capability is needed to help incident commanders and tactical decision makers to accurately locate and track responders anywhere in the incident environment. This capability is also necessary to allow them to rapidly and effectively deploy, re-deploy and direct their forces to identified at-risk personnel or understand and respond to the consequences of potential threats to their responder resources in real-time during an incident. Regardless of the configurations and designs of the system, there is an overarching requirement and a need for this capability to have interoperability and seamless integration amongst the other systems in the incident environment. In this manner, incident commanders and tactical decision makers will be able to virtually observe responders' position, tracks, resources, and activities that will enhance their overall situational awareness during an incident.

To meet the needs of the first responder communities across the nation, DHS S&T has established the Geospatial Location Accountability and Navigation System for Emergency Responders (GLANSER) program to develop such a system. The DHS S&T GLANSER program is aligned with the primary DHS S&T program areas of Transition such that the development time-line includes test and evaluation in a relevant operational environment, followed closely by transition to a DHS Stakeholder (to be finalized) and or commercialized within 3-5 years. The DHS S&T GLANSER program will focus on the development and transition of a total system solution to include the sensor hardware, software/firmware, and the visualization component. It is anticipated that a GLANSER system will be integrated with first responder personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fire fighting and law enforcement community. Specifically, this type of technology is being solicited and is captured by the following BAA Topic: BAA 09-02 GLANSER.

To achieve the program goals, this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) calls for rapid development of the technology listed above. Offerors are invited to prepare multiple white papers to address the above topic, given that each white paper offers distinctly different technical approaches. Upon review of the submitted white papers, the government may invite an offeror to submit a full proposal. Only invited proposals will be accepted for review. In this regard, white papers are mandatory.