Wireless Goes for Government

The city of Mountain View, California held a public safety readiness "dirty bomb" exercise, on November 10, to simulate an explosion scenario. A key part of the infrastructure was a grid of radiation "sensor packs" by Forward Threat Control (FTC (www.threatcon.info), installed on buildings to detect small amounts of radioactive material and automatically report their presence and location to the city's emergency operations center (EOC). This information was displayed on EOC computer screens pinpointing affected areas, and safety personnel responded, simulating the dispatching of forces to evacuate and contain contaminated areas.

Meanwhile, California's statewide energy efficiency campaign has recognized Dust Networks (www.dustnetworks.com) with a Flex Your Power (www.fypower.org) award honoring leadership in energy efficiency. A total of 35 entrants were selected from more than 260 applications. Dust's SmartMesh technology helps companies collect information about physical assets and environmental conditions. SmartMesh-XR, says Dust, is the "lowest power wireless monitoring and control communications product available."

Back on the other coast, Boston-based Ember Corp. (www.ember.com) has received funding from In-Q-Tel (www.in-q-tel.org a venture group established by the CIA. Ember, developer of wireless semiconductor systems based on the ZigBee protocol, will use the investment to develop wireless sensor, monitoring, and control technology. In-Q-Tel says Ember's technology has "great potential to improve the security and efficiency of government and defense operations."