Just returned from Washington, DC, where we met with Dr. David Boyd, program director for Project Safecom. We discussed finding funding opportunities for using RTLS and RFIDs as a UWIN-supported project. Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) are fully automated systems that continuously monitor and track the locations of assets and personnel. In the homeland security context, we would have vehicle-mounted RTLS systems that could form a grid in responding to a given homeland incident or natural disaster. These mobile RTLS systems would convey data to incident management through the 700 MHz statewide data network and or broadband 4.9 GHz and 802.11 access points depending on the location. Check out this presentation (Reality Online) from Accenture.
Boyd is also involved in supporting the federal government's Integrated Wireless Network project. Perhaps UWIN should look at ways to partner with IWN. Another agency to keep an eye on is HSARPA. HSARPA is a homeland security agency fashioned after DARPA that was created last year. I don't see much activity there yet.
Boyd also told us that Tom Ridge is planning to create a new program management office to create greater interoperability and innovation among the first responder community. Here are a few more details. Dr. Boyd has only been with Homeland since 2003 (that's right, it was only created then). Here's more on his background. His testimony to the House Reform Committee is a very clear statement of what Project Safecom is about.
NIST provides this interesting list of organizations, companies, and technologies associated with public safety wireless. Their Advanced Network Technologies Division is interested in Wireless Ad Hoc Networks, an area where the latest Utah proposal seems to fit.