Although its development has been a known story in many parts of the firefighting community for more than three years, on August 7, 2012, a collaborative partnership working under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate publicly unveiled for the first time the Geospatial Location Accountability and Navigation System for Emergency Responders (GLANSER). By using a combination of technology that includes a GPS, Inertial Measuring Unit (IMU), aneroid barometer, and microwave transmitter, a firefighter's location is continuously calculated and sent back to the Incident Commander Unit (ICU). As a result, the whereabouts of a firefighter wearing a GLANSER is known at all times whether he/she is in two dimensional space outside a building, or in three dimensional space inside a building. One deployment of the GLANSER command platform is said to be able to track up to 500 firefighters, in buildings up to 50 stories high, with an accuracy to within three (3) feet. To learn more, use the links below:
- Firefighter Tracker to be Unveiled (Boston Globe, August 6, 2012)
- GLANSER System Locates and Tracks Firefighters in Buildings (Fire Apparatus and Equipment Magazine, April 1, 2012)
- GLANSER: A Scalable Emergency Responder Locator System (PDF PPT: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, August 11, 2011)
Comment: Prior to this unveiling for the public at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts on Tuesday, field testing of GLANSER had been underway in Plymouth and Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as North Las Vegas, Nevada. Kudos to all involved - very cool!
Lead photo: Discovery.com