Wireless Applications

'Dalmatian' Locates First Responders in Critical Situations

July 25, 2007

ENSCO Supports Rex Systems to develop the system to accurately locate and guide to safety a first reponder within a GPS-denied environment.


Springfield, VA, -- ENSCO Inc., a diversified research, development and information technology company, is part of a team led by Rex Systems Inc., to better equip first responders at the scene of blazes, explosions and other disasters. Currently, there is not an accurate way to locate responders within dangerous situations and lead them to safety. Under contract and exclusive license to Rex Systems, ENSCO is developing its Dalmation technology, an affordable solution to accurately locate the responder within a GPS-denied environment (e.g., indoors) and guide the responder to safety.

ENSCO's Dalmatian technology is a novel personal navigation system for first responders that is effective both indoors and outdoors. The mascots of firemen, Dalmatians have been the guardian of horse-drawn vehicles since the time of the ancient Egyptians. ENSCO's Dalmatian technology uses sensors integrated into the first responder's boot, combined with sophisticated signal processing, to continuously track the responder's location. Chiefs can monitor their responding team and send rescue personnel when needed; fire-fighters can navigate themselves out of danger or relocate as directed by the Commander.

The integrated system being developed by Rex Systems, of which ENSCO's Dalmation technology is a component, should revolutionize safety operations for first responders.

The Challenges
"The primary challenge of Dalmatian is to maintain an accurate position when the first responder is crawling, sidestepping and running. That ability is what differentiates us from the competition. Crawling is the most difficult because the first responder's foot is almost constantly in motion," explains ENSCO Program Manager Jane Bohlin.

Last November, the team began its evaluation of hardware options and placement of the hardware on the first responder's boot. Recently the team completed a high-level design for the system. Detailed design, implementation, and testing are scheduled through this summer with a demonstration planned for January 2008.

The Rewards
"Knowing our work may directly help save lives is very rewarding. Working within ENSCO's GPS-denied navigation group is extremely satisfying. Not only is it a great learning experience, it's exciting to work with new technology," adds Ms. Bohlin.

ENSCO Introduced by Customer
Rex Systems, a leading manufacturer of military and civilian high-tech electronic systems, was introduced to ENSCO via their customer CERDEC, the U.S. Army's Communications Electronics, Research, Development and Engineering Center. "It's great to be working with ENSCO. We (Rex Systems) have developed several critical technologies for this program and ENSCO provides the needed expertise in Denied GPS tracking technology for our system. First Responders need this life saving situational awareness and it's great to be part of a program that will provide it," said Thomas K. Guelzow II, President, Rex Systems Incorporated.

ENSCO will be presenting at the Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking for Emergency Responders Technology Workshop, August 6–7, 2007 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA.

About ENSCO, Inc.
ENSCO, Inc. provides engineering, science and advanced technology solutions for the defense, security, transportation, environment, and aerospace industries. Founded in 1969, ENSCO is a $100 million, 850-person, privately owned corporation. Headquartered in Falls Church, VA, ENSCO has major offices in Springfield, VA, Endicott, NY, Melbourne, FL, and Cocoa Beach, FL; field offices throughout the United States; and sales agent offices in China, Israel, the United Kingdom and throughout central and eastern Europe.


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