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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

"Where Am I, Where Is My Team?"

Develop sensors and communication tools to track first responders while they are inside a structure, without the need to establish towers or other devices. The technology must scale and be able to perform well across a variety of indoor environments, current with emerging technologies and techniques.

Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $25,000
Type of Challenge: Ideas
Submission Start: 03/03/2015 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 04/02/2015 11:59 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here: https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933726

Description

The Department of Homeland Security,  Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) First Responders Group (FRG) is seeking innovative methods for real-time, robust indoor tracking of the next generation first responder. The development of sensors and communications able to perform well across a variety of indoor environments is one of the biggest challenges in first responder tracking research and development. This prize competition seeks personalized, modular and scalable approaches to track the next generation of first responders indoors using current and emerging technologies, sensors, and techniques. Submissions should consist of a concept/design for a low cost, robust, real-time indoor tracking capability.

The ability to use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is extremely limited for indoor tracking capabilities due to its weak signal strength and inability to penetrate buildings. There are limited alternatives to GPS, such as wave measurements, magnetic fields, sonar/acoustics, mobile devices, etc. Each alternative has benefits and limitations and offers varying levels of tracking capabilities. This competition seeks innovative solutions that can help track next generation first responders while they are inside of a structure without having to set up prepositioned towers or other devices. The building structure may be concrete, steel, glass or any combination of modern building materials and of varying heights. Ideally, a solution will be wearable; self-reporting to provide real-time x, y, z positioning; and mission-agnostic thereby allowing for use by any first responder discipline (e.g., law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical services, and emergency management).

Winner

The Vreeland Institute, Inc
The first place winning solution was submitted by Thomas Vreeland on behalf of the Vreeland Institute located in Copake, NY. The proposal consists of a combination of existing technologies for determining an individual’s location. When combined together the technologies are capable of building a three dimensional awareness of the operational environment, the building’s interior, and a responder’s location in real time. The First Responder Indoor Tracking System (FRITS) solution provides a new approach consisting of MEMS sensors, dead reckoning, altimeter sensor, LIDAR odometry , sensor fusion, auxiliary sensor mapping, 3D world building, crowdsourced navigation, filtering techniques, augmented reality, and heat maps. The Vreeland Institute received a $20,000 cash prize for its first place submission.

Certa Cito LLC
The second place winning solution was submitted on behalf of Certa Cito, LLC of Rochester, NY by its founder and co-founder Susan and Andrew Sheppard. In their proposal, they offer a solution to a tracking system currently under development called JUNOTM. JUNOTM is a context-spatial awareness system that incorporates an existing tracking and localization system, a Wireless Ad hoc System for Positioning (WASP), and supports context driven spatial awareness. The solution provides an overview of WASP capabilities and then explains the components of the JUNOTM system. The solver discussed each building structure case with detailed solution requirements and an overview of how JUNOTM would operate in each case. Certa Cito also provided an overview of the recommended research, development and testing path required to execute the JUNOTM technology and a timeframe for development. Certa Cito, LLC received a $5,000 cash prize for its second place submission..

Prizes

1st Place
Cash Prize Amount: $20,000
Cash

2nd Place
Cash Prize Amount: $5,000
Cash

Rules

Submissions to this prize competition shall include:

(1)     A comprehensive description including drawings and diagrams, as appropriate, of the proposed solution in 10 pages or less, 8.5 x 11 inch page, 12-point font or greater and one inch margins including:
(i)         A one-paragraph executive summary that clearly states the technical question to be solved;
(ii)       Background information supporting the significance of the technical question(s) and the proposed approach, pitfalls, and validation scheme that addresses efforts to support reproducibility; if possible, citing selected peer-reviewed articles that strengthen the proposed solution;
(iii)     Descriptions of methods and technologies key to implementation;
(iv)       A “state-of-the-art” statement that describes approaches currently in use (if any) and clearly explains how the methods and measures proposed advance existing capabilities; and
(v)         A feasibility assessment and a statement describing your ability to execute the proposed solution, including the estimated timeframe, supporting precedents and any special resource you may have or will need.

Judging: Solutions for this competition will be evaluated by a judging panel using the criteria and rating scales described below. Judges will review highly rated solutions for technical alignment to the Next Generation First Responder Apex program, relevance to the DHS mission, and potential integration with existing projects.

The three use cases, listed under (1) below, apply to this competition and, at a minimum; at least two of these must be addressed. The judging panel will use the following criteria and rating scales for evaluating proposed solutions with high scores reflecting the most highly rated solutions: (Maximum 100 points; plus up to 50 bonus points)

(1)     Building structure (0-30 points) - (i)         Case 1 – Should be able to track multiple first responders inside of a 2-story residential structure above and below grade; (ii)       Case 2 – Should be able to track multiple first responders inside of a warehouse structure with a minimal footprint of 20,000 square feet; (iii)     Case 3 – Should be able to track multiple first responders inside of a multi-storied commercial building above grade and below grade.

(2)     Location Accuracy (0-50 points) - Location capability should provide 3-dimentional positioning where X is less than or equal to 3 meters with a position error of less than equal to +/- 0.50 meters; where Y is less than or equal to 3 meters with a position error of less than equal to +/- 0.50 meters; and where Z is less than or equal to 2 meters with a position error of less than equal to +/- 0.25 meters.

(3)     Real-time reporting (0-10 points) - The solution should be able to provide real-time reporting of +/- 15 seconds to the on-scene commander and must be able to transmit, omni-directional, position location no less than 1500 feet from within the structure.

(4)     The modular form should be man-portable and weigh less than 5 pounds (0 – 10 points).
  • Bonus Points (Maximum 50 bonus points) -
(i)         Feasibility (Bonus worth up to 30 points) - Solvers should provide sufficient details to support the feasibility that the proposed solution can be demonstrated with further research and development in less than two years, including published or unpublished data, scientific basis, technological capability, and resources.
(ii)       Adaptability (Bonus worth up to 20 points) - Must describe broad utility and scalability. The approach should lend itself to more than one first responder discipline, such as law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services.

Judging Criteria

Location Accuracy
(0-50 points) - Location capability should provide 3-dimentional positioning where X is less than or equal to 3 meters with a position error of less than equal to +/- 0.50 meters; where Y is less than or equal to 3 meters with a position error of less than equal to +/- 0.50 meters; and where Z is less than or equal to 2 meters with a position error of less than equal to +/- 0.25 meters.

Real-time Reporting
(0-10 points) - The solution should be able to provide real-time reporting of +/- 15 seconds to the on-scene commander and must be able to transmit, omni-directional, position location no less than 1500 feet from within the structure.

Form and Function
The modular form should be man-portable and weigh less than 5 pounds (0 – 10 points).

Bonus Points-Feasibility
(Bonus worth up to 30 points) - Solvers should provide sufficient details to support the feasibility that the proposed solution can be demonstrated with further research and development in less than two years, including published or unpublished data, scientific basis, technological capability, and resources.

Bonus Points-Adaptability
(Bonus worth up to 20 points) - Must describe broad utility and scalability. The approach should lend itself to more than one first responder discipline, such as law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services.