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Correctional Officer Distress Alarm (CODA)

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
R43OH010008
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
NIOSH
Solicitation Number:
PA10-050
Small Business Information
Q-TRACK CORPORATION
2223 Drake Avenue SW 1st Floor HUNTSVILLE, AL 35805
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Correctional Officer Distress Alarm (CODA)
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43OH010008-01
Award Amount: $149,992.00
 

Abstract:

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): According to the Department of Labor, correctional officers are the second most frequent victims of violent crime. The difference between a simple assault and severe injuries often depends on how quickly fellow officerscan rescue the officer under duress. This proposed effort aims to implement and demonstrate a proof- of-concept system in which a correctional officer who is wearing a small transmitter can activate the device sending a distress signal to the Operations Center. The system localizes the endangered officer, thus allowing aid to be sent to his precise location. The high frequency, short wavelength thinking that dominates modern RF practice creates a substantial barrier to progress. Conventional RTLS vendors take wireless hardware optimized for high-data-rate communications applications and try to apply it to the challenging problem of indoor wireless location. This is true not only of UWB RTLS vendors, but also of RTLS vendors who leverage WiFi, or other 2.4GHz technologies. But communications and location are two different applications requiring fundamentally different solutions. The present opportunity defies the current paradigm of high-frequency, short-wavelength RTLS. We propose to apply Q-Track's innovative, low-frequency, long-wavelength Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER) RTLS to the challenging problem of correctional officer location awareness. NFER RTLS uses long wavelength (~300m) low frequency (~1MHz) to obtain relative tracking accuracies of30cm-1m at ranges of up to 70m at Part 15 power levels (~100mW). The proposed effort seeks to enhance the safety of corrections officers by assessing the feasibility of implementing a NFER-based Correctional Officer Distress Alarm (CODA) system within thechallenging RF propagation environment of a typical correctional facilty. Q-Track's proposed CODA system effort begins with setting specifications in conjunction with corrections experts. Then we will assess noise and propagation within a typical correctional facility. These facilities are characterized by particularly dense reinforcement in their concrete walls, as well as periodic barred mantraps between sections of the building. These features make correctional facilities very difficult RF propagationenvironments. A preliminary survey indicates that Q-Track's low frequency, near-field approach offers considerable promise. We seek to conduct a much more comprehensive study. We further aim to implement a proof-of-concept system, deploy it within a correctional environment, and assess performance. We will generate surface plots of noise and signal characteristics, perform an error analysis including assessing the statistical distribution of location errors and generate a video showing the proof-of-conceptsystem in action. Our objective is to demonstrate the ability of a NFER-based CODA system to allow help to be dispatched to the precise location of a correctional officer in distress. A successful system will mean enhanced security and safety for correctional officers, as well as reductions in burnout and turnover. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Q-Track aims to demonstrate the ability of a low-frequency, Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER)- based Correctional Officer Distress Alarm (CODA) system toallow help to be dispatched to the precise location of a correctional officer in distress. A successful system will mean enhanced security and safety for correctional officers, as well as reductions in burnout and turnover.

Principal Investigator:

Eric A. Richards
931-639-7191
e.richards@q-track.com

Business Contact:

Eric Richards
256-489-0075
j.gabig@q-track.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Q-TRACK CORPORATION
Q-TRACK CORPORATION 3414 Governors Drive SW HUNTSVILLE, AL 35805-

EIN/Tax ID: 155081058
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No