A Rapid-to-Deploy Agent-Based Wireless Sensing Architecture for Autonomous Structural Collapse Prediction
Department of Homeland Security
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1600 Huron Parkway, 2nd Floor, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-5001
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AbstractWhile most media attention in the wake of a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, or even a single building fire focuses rightly on the safety and wellbeing of the general public, one often overlooked aspect of these catastrophic events is the extreme risk taken by first responders who enter structures on the verge of collapse. For example, after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, 403 first responders were killed by the structural collapse of the twin towers. This scenario plays out on a much smaller scale every day, when local firefighters enter a burning or condemned building in an effort to protect public safety, and end up putting themselves at risk in the case of structural collapse. In this proposal, Civionics has teamed with Weidlinger Associates to present a novel, rapid-to-deploy technology that can quantitatively assess pending collapse in structures impacted by a fire, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, or another building-related catastrophe. This approach centers on three layers of innovation: (Layer I) a modular wireless sensing hardware platform; (Layer II) an elegant suite of embedded structural analysis and risk assessment algorithms autonomously executed by the deployed wireless sensors; and (Layer III) an intuitive mobile interface for first responders. In whole, the proposed system will reliably provide actionable collapse information to first responders in real-time, while leveraging a lightweight, modular, and unobtrusive design strategy to make the system easy to deploy in even the harshest rescue and recovery environments.
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