The SSRL Emergency Response Shore Tool (wherein “SSRL” signifies “Smart Systems Research Laboratory”) is a computer program within a system of communication and mobile-computing software and hardware being developed to increase the situational awareness of first responders at building collapses. This program is intended for use mainly in planning and constructing shores to stabilize partially collapsed structures. The program consists of client and server components, runs in the Windows operating system on commercial off-the-shelf portable computers, and can utilize such additional hardware as digital cameras and Global Positioning System devices.

A first responder can enter directly, into a portable computer running this program, the dimensions of a required shore. The shore dimensions, plus an optional digital photograph of the shore site, can then be uploaded via a wireless network to a server. Once on the server, the shore report is timestamped and made available on similarly equipped portable computers carried by other first responders, including shore wood cutters and an incident commander. The staff in a command center can use the shore reports and photographs to monitor progress and to consult with structural engineers to assess whether a building is in imminent danger of further collapse.

This program was written by Robert W. Mah, Richard Papasin, Dawn M. McIntosh, Douglas Denham, and Charles Jorgensen of Ames Research Center; Bradley J. Betts of Computer Sciences Corporation; and Rommel Del Mundo of QSS Group, Inc. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category.

This invention is owned by NASA and a patent application has been filed. Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to the Ames Technology Partnerships Division at (650) 604-2954. Refer to ARC-15461-1.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2006 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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