I visited Gainesville earlier this week and one of my stops was to call on my favorite Florida professor, Dr. Ronald Foreman. Now retired, and Professor Emeritus in the African American Studies program at U.F., he stepped into the breach when my father passed away during my freshman year. While catching up on things, we happened onto a discussion of the wonders of modern technology (his son apparently gave him a satellite radio) and I was reminded of that discussion today when I stumbled upon information concerning Florida's Integrated Situational Awareness System.
The University of Florida is seeking a commercial partner to commercialize an Integrated Situation Awareness System to enhance decision-making effectiveness when managing potentially life-threatening situations. Many situations in civil, military, commercial or public safety context unfold dynamically in an uncertain environment. Such situations require the deployment and management of a wide variety of different resources in order to bring the situation to a successful conclusion, or at least to mitigate the consequences that can be caused by such incidents. The decision makers, responsible for deploying and managing various resources in these situations receive inputs from a myriad of sources. This gives rise to the need for a system and method for combining inputs received from diverse sources, and utilizing the combined input to augment a decision maker’s situational awareness. Researchers at the University of Florida have designed such a system that combines a variety of inputs, including live video feeds, federated databases, security systems, and satellite imagery, simultaneously, to augment the decision maker’s situational awareness. Essentially, this Integrated Situation Awareness System (ISAS) is designed for public safety, wide-area environmental monitoring, law enforcement, and anti-terror purposes.
I presume it is a collaboration with CIMAR and many other disciplines on campus. There is a desire at U.F. to use that ISAS technology as the foundation to develop something they are pitching to the state as a "Real-time Awareness, Decision-making And Response (RADAR) system" with incredible utility across any number of platforms.
Here is the pitch that stresses the incredible potential of the system:
A fully developed RADAR system will enable high-level decision makers (ranging from campus and local law enforcement officials to the Office of the Governor) to make functionally-enhanced decisions in times of stress and potential crisis. The ISAS research team has already succeeded in bringing together Interactive Media Systems Designers with Agricultural and Biological engineers, Mechanical and Aerospace engineers, Urban Planners and other faculty from the College of Design, Construction and Planning. The original ISAS concept was being developed to augment critical decision-making by our nation’s military and security forces. But as a result of working with various UF researchers in the initial development phase, Digital Worlds [RattlerGator: an incredible collaboration at Florida between the engineering college and the arts, utilizing the tools of digital technology and culture] realized that an integrated interactive media system could also be applied effectively to a much broader scope of activities including campus and community security.
What does it all add up to: network-centric operations meets homeland security meets domestic emergency management, presuming you or I or even they can grasp all of that. Take a look at this very interesting (and ambitious) video:
MAV's??? Micro Air Vehicles??? Man, this world is really moving fast. There are phenomenal changes on the horizon that are going to boggle our mind.