TORA

PDA-based tool for soldiers that would provide actionable information for dealing with toxic releases in the field.

Toxic Observation Response Aid for US Army Research Lab
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The Problem

  • Soldiers need a tool for dealing with toxic releases in the field.
  • The soldier may or may not have communications back to the base, where there are good chem-bio systems.
  • The soldier’s tool needs to be intuitive, quick to setup, and draw little power.

The Solution

A PDA-based solution that combines

  • WISER, for toxic identification and treatment information
  • Basic plume prediction
  • A map-based display
  • Always have an answer
  • Provide the soldier with action recommendations
  • Depict contours that relate to impacts
  • As time and network allows, get better answers.

The Impact

Effort proved viability of WISER and plume modeling operating on mobile platforms

PDA-based tool for soldiers that would provide actionable information for dealing with toxic releases in the field.

Chemical warfare is a threat that all military services must take seriously. In today’s climate of asymmetric and irregular warfare, the threat could become reality at any time.

In response to an Army SBIR solicitation, Next Century proposed, and was granted, a Phase I contract to begin building its Toxic Observation Response Aid (TORA), a PDA-based tool for soldiers that would provide actionable information for dealing with toxic releases in the field. TORA combines toxic data with plume modeling and network connectivity to provide the warfighter with toxic impacts in a spatial and temporal context.

TORA is network-enhanced: The soldier may or may not have communications back to his base, so it does not require network connectivity to provide answers and includes basic plume prediction on-board. It can also notify others of the toxic incident and receive updated plume predictions from server-based systems when a network is available.

TORA is designed to be intuitive, quick to set up, and draw little power. Key innovations include: (1) incorporating the toxicological user interface, data, and treatment information of the National Library of Medicine’s Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER); (2) providing time-based information; and, (3) providing map-based contours that relate to relevant impacts, allowing TORA to answer the question of whether the soldier has time to put on MOPP gear, how to route around the plume, etc.

Phase I, completed in May 2007, included delivery of a prototype that integrated WISER with plumes calculated on a PocketPC and addressed key visualization and engineering concepts.

Category: Mobile Computing, GIS & Mapping

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