• U.S. unprepared for severe solar storms

    Mankind’s vulnerability to disruptions caused by severe solar storms has increased as a result of the increasing dependence of human societies on technology and electricity; a storm on the scale of the 1859 Carrington Event could damage the U.S. electrical grid to such an extent that vast regions of the country could be without power for weeks, perhaps months.

  • Flu vaccine contracts worth $46.7 million awarded

    Two companies awarded $46.7 million to supply influenza vaccine to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies

  • Scientists unsure how Tasers work

    There is a growing interest in nonlethal weapon, and Taser stun devices are among the most heavily used — and researched — nonlethal systems; scientists are still unsure how, exactly, these devices achieve their stunning effect

  • The first true flying car: DARPA's Transformer TX

    DARPA, in its FY 2010 budget request, has asked for $2 million to develop the Transformer TX; the list of requirement makes for a true flying car: it is quiet; it hovers; it carries up to four people and can run for up to two hours on one tank of fuel; it travels on roads; and can be operated “by a typical soldier”; it should also be able to run on an autopilot if need be

  • DHS develops medical scanner-at-a-distance device

    The first task of first responders arriving on a scene of a disaster is quickly and accurately to sort the living casualties by priority order for medical care; new device assesses — from a distance — the medical condition of those injured in the disaster; it does so by using laser doppler vibrometry and a camera to measure pulse, body temperature, and muscle movements such as breathing

  • Mobile WiMax to be rolled out in Atlanta in June

    Clearwire says it will roll out mobile WiMax in Atlanta next month, with other cities to follow

  • U.S. schools take steps toward greater safety -- but problems remain

    CDW-G 2009 School Safety Index finds that K-12 districts are taking steps to improve network and building security, but that increased breaches caused an overall decline in schools’ physical and cyber security scores

  • IEEE ICRA 2009 showcased advances in robotics

    ICRA 2009, the world’s premier robotics event, was held in Japan last week; researchers demonstrated the latest in robotics — from tree-climbing robots to robots than can create ice sculptures on their own

  • U.S. reassesses safe water levels in New Orleans' outfall canals

    New Orleans has three outfall canals, the role of which is similar to that of a storm drain under a city street; since Katrina, there have been disagreements among engineers as to how much water would it be safe for each of the three canals to handle during a storm

  • DARPA looks for inertial-nav to be embedded in smart boot's heel

    DARPA is funding the development of smart shoes: soldiers and first responders will be equipped with shoes with embedded inertial navigation sensor; sensor will help in keeping track of soldiers, special operatives, and first responders in harsh environments

  • NIST's high-rise fire study highlights deadly wind-driven fires

    Fire researchers at NIST have published two reports providing details of how wind affects fires in high-rise buildings

  • DHS: brain music to relax first responders

    DHS to use technique which measures a first responder’s brain signatures by using an electroencephalogram, then turn them into synthesized piano music — either a stress-reducing relaxation track, or an alertness-boosting one “for improved concentration and decision-making”

  • FAA to impose safety rules on medical, rescue helicopters

    Emergency medical services helicopters perform many risky stunts in order to reach people in trouble and evacuate them to safety; this makes these rescue vehicles even more prone to accidents; the FAA is set to impose new safety requirements next year

  • Harris Corporation acquires Wireless Systems for $675 million in cash

    The global land mobile radio (LMR) systems market is values at $9 billion a year and growing; Harris Corporation wants a bigger presence in this emergency and public safety communication market; it is set to acquire Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems, creating a leading provider of wireless communication networks in the LMR systems market

  • An HSNW conversation with Harold Wolpert, CEO of Avalias

    Avalias’s solutions allow an organization to approximate the experience of a disaster, and to help the personnel charged with defense and mitigation to perfect and rehearse their responses to disaster; Harold Wolpert, CEO of Avalias: “Our technology is taken for granted. That’s because it can be”