• An Expert on Search and Rescue Robots Explains the Technologies Used in Disasters Like the Florida Condo Collapse

    Different types of robots may be used to search and rescue victims of disasters, such as the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida. A robotics experts says that the current state of the practice for searching the interior of rubble is to use either a small tracked vehicle, such as an Inkutun VGTV Extreme, which is the most commonly used robot for such situations, or a snakelike robot, such as the Active Scope Camera developed in Japan. Teledyne FLIR is sending a couple of tracked robots and operators to the site in Surfside, Florida.

  • Using Radio Signals to Image Hidden and Speeding Objects

    Radio signals can create real-time images and videos of hidden and moving objects, helping firefighters find escape routes or victims inside buildings filled with fire and smoke. The technique could also be used to track hypersonic objects such as missiles and space debris.

  • Disaster Response and Mitigation in an AI World

    Accurately forecasting the movement of natural disasters—wildfires, floods, hurricanes, windstorms, tornados, and earthquakes—gives first responders a jump, allowing them to take measures to reduce damage, conduct advanced resource planning, and increase infrastructure restoration time.

  • Using Intelligent Drones for Search and Rescue

    Finding people lost (or hiding) in the forest is difficult because of the tree cover. People in planes and helicopters have difficulty seeing through the canopy to the ground below, where people might be walking or even laying down. The same problem exists for thermal applications—heat sensors cannot pick up readings adequately through the canopy. New drone technology helps search and rescue teams locate missing persons - even in dense forests.

  • Puerto Rico is Prone to More Flooding Than the Island is Prepared to Handle

    Puerto Rico is not ready for another hurricane season, let alone the effects of climate change, according to a new study that shows the island’s outstanding capacity to produce record-breaking floods and trigger a large number of landslides.

  • Drone with 3D Mapping Tech Gives First Responders Near Real-Time Data

    ResponDrone’s new precision mapping abilities enable rescue teams to better understand their working environment in emergency situations such as fire, flood or any other natural disaster.

  • Early Wildfires Detection Systems Successfully Tested

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) successfully tested four prototype technologies for early detection of wildfires in California this week. The test was the second phase of S&T’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) wildfire sensor technology program.

  • Teaching Drones to Hear Screams from Catastrophe Victims

    In a disaster, time is of the essence when searching for potential victims who may be difficult to find. Unmanned aerial vehicles make the perfect platform for state-of-the-art technology allowing emergency crews to find those in need and provide situational awareness over a large area.

  • The Next World War, Liberals and Crime, and UFOs Mystery

    A new novel — 2034: A Novel of the Next World War — ) imagines a future war between the United States and China that takes place in the eponymous year. Rapes, aggravated assaults and thefts from and of cars continue to increase across the United States, which is a problem not only for the victims, but also for advocates of criminal-justice reform. The current UFO-mania notwithstanding, the U.S. military began investigating UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena) in the summer of 1947: the military’s interest in UFOs – they were then called “flying saucer” – can be traced to the pilot and UFO godfather Kenneth Arnold’s ur-sighting in late June 1947.

  • How AI Could Alert Firefighters of Imminent Danger

    Firefighting is a race against time, but exactly how much time? For firefighters, that part is often unclear. Building fires can turn from bad to deadly in an instant, and the warning signs are frequently difficult to discern amid the mayhem of an inferno. To remove this major blind spot, NIST researchers have developed P-Flash, or the Prediction Model for Flashover.

  • Enhanced Rescue Hoist Glove Available for Responders

    An enhanced rescue hoist glove will soon be available for first responders. DHS and partners worked to identify and develop the best materials with which to create a more durable and flexible glove for rescue hoist operations.

  • California's Wildfire Season Has Lengthened, and Its Peak Is Now Earlier in the Year

    California’s wildfire problem, fueled by a concurrence of climate change and a heightened risk of human-caused ignitions in once uninhabited areas, has been getting worse with each passing year of the 21st century.Researchers have found that the annual burn season has lengthened in the past two decades and that the yearly peak has shifted from August to July.

  • Low-Cost NIST Demo Links Public Safety Radios to Broadband Wireless Network

    Engineers have built a low-cost computer system that connects older public safety radios with the latest wireless communications networks, showing how first responders might easily take advantage of broadband technology offering voice, text, instant messages, video and data capabilities.

  • Cybersecurity Tech for Emergency Communications Centers

    DHS S&T is expanding pilot testing of a technology to improve the cybersecurity defenses of the nation’s emergency communications infrastructure. Odenton, Md.-based SecuLore Solutions in the research and development (R&D) of a cybersecurity defense solution based on predictive analytics and cyber data that helps detect and mitigate cybersecurity attacks against legacy emergency communications systems and new Next Generation 911 (NG911) and Internet Protocol-based technologies.

  • The Future of Lifesaving Firefighting Technology

    A groundbreaking tracking and location technology will soon allow agencies to pinpoint their firefighters to within centimeters, helping to navigate them quickly and safely out of potentially disorienting emergency scenarios.