Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, received a follow-on contract from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a Precision Information Environment for Coordinated Emergency Support (PIECES). PIECES is part of an effort by DHS to develop tightly-integrated collaborative work environments that help teams of emergency responders share and manipulate data sources.
During an emergency, staff from different fields and jurisdictions must collaborate at several distributed disaster sites while commanders in emergency operations centers (EOCs) monitor and manage relief efforts from a distance. The number of personnel and various means of communication used contribute to gaps between the available technology and what emergency responders need. The DHS is bringing together personnel in academia, government, and industry to develop components that target these gaps; as an industry partner, Charles River is developing visualization and communication components with PIECES.
Mr. J. Alex Godwin, Scientist at Charles River, explained: “PIECES will provide critical data from multiple sources and communications channels through interfaces that can be tailored to the job-specific demands of emergency personnel: firefighters, police, and other rescue workers can access the information they need in real time. Perhaps more importantly, PIECES will allow them to easily share this information in situations where collaboration across agencies and jurisdictions is vital.”