CalEMA Selects Carnegie Mellon as Site for Latest Emergency Unit-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, July 12, 2010

CalEMA Selects Carnegie Mellon as Site for Latest Emergency Unit

The California Emergency Response Agency (CalEMA) has selected Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley as the site for one of twelve OASIS “COM62” Emergency Units. Hosting the Emergency unit on campus is one way Carnegie Mellon supports the CalEMA mission.

“By locating this important emergency response resource at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, CalEMA has provided the Disaster Management Initiative with a number of valuable opportunities for experimentation, training, and exercises,” said David Coggeshall, Adjunct Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley and Program Director of the Golden Gate Safety Network.

The OASIS emergency unit sports a new/recently-upgraded AVL Technologies/Trackstar auto-deploying 11/14 GHz dish and RF system which automatically determines the trailer's location and orientation then seeks the target satellite. The trailer system is complimented by redundant earth stations supporting connection to the State wide-area network for the 12 mobile units and over 57 fixed stations in each county plus additional agency locations. Built as a military-transportable chassis, they are designed for transport by C-130 cargo planes and can be air-lifted and set down by helicopter.

“These recently upgraded OASIS trailers provide key linkage among State and local responders when traditional communications infrastructure may be compromised,” said Coggeshall. “The ability to relocate the unit to the scene of an incident, and quickly establish voice and data linkage among field personnel and the State Operating Center, will greatly enhance our ability to mount an effective and coordinated response to a wide range of emergency situations.”

The wide-area network connection on OASIS provides State network access, primarily for the RIMS (Regional Information Management System) ICS and data collection databases, Internet access for other agencies' web services, and customized access to the AT&T public phone system. The current bandwidth is roughly 1-1.5 Mbps with higher bandwidth available later this year.

Recent deployments for this and similar units have been to the Southern California/Mexican-border earthquake area, the Cosco Buson oil spill command post, and the Indians Complex fire command post at Fort Hunter-Liggett. They often support training and situation awareness video and data for large exercises such as Golden Guardian and Urban Shield.

The Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley campus is located at NASA Research Park on Moffett Field, which is growing as a disaster response area due to its secure, central location and access to communications technology. Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley has recently launched the Disaster Management Initiative, developing next-generation solutions to coordination and collaboration in disaster and emergency situations.