Designing public safety mobile applications for disconnected, interrupted, and low bandwidth communication environments

Peter Erickson, Andrew Weinert, Paul Breimyer, Matt Samperi, Jason Huff, Carlos Parra, Scarlett Rae Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public Safety emergency communication systems are crucial to effective incident and disaster response. Lack of situational awareness and communications are of the most cited factors that hamper Public Safety's ability to make critical decisions. In partnership with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) developed the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS) to improve collaborative situational awareness. NICS is a reliable, distributed, and scalable architecture that enables a common situational awareness picture to enhance collaboration. The NICS user interface is web-based and Public Safety is increasingly adopting mobile devices, which are likely to operate in disconnected, interrupted, low-bandwidth environments. To address these issues, this paper will describe a Public Safety mobile application based upon feedback from Public Safety personal. Due to the strong open-source development community and API flexibility, the Android operating system was selected for development. Development of the native Android application was driven by popular NICS features and Public Safety feedback. Foremost, the application was required to provide and display geolocation information, enabling basic situational awareness. In addition to geolocation, the application enables users to report incidents, broadcast messages, and transmit images. These functions and their designs were driven by interviews with Public Safety personnel from different organizations (law enforcement, fire, etc.). Usability testing with Public Safety personal was conducted. Users envision that the application will enhance the situational awareness capability for mobile Public Safety personnel while laying the foundation for future work leveraging mobile technologies. Based on this testing and lessons learned from development, a set of Public Safety mobile application design considerations were developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2013
Pages790-796
Number of pages7
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Event2013 13th IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2013 - Waltham, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2013Nov 14 2013

Publication series

Name2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2013

Other

Other2013 13th IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2013
CountryUnited States
CityWaltham, MA
Period11/12/1311/14/13

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration

Cite this

Erickson, P., Weinert, A., Breimyer, P., Samperi, M., Huff, J., Parra, C., & Miller, S. R. (2013). Designing public safety mobile applications for disconnected, interrupted, and low bandwidth communication environments. In 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2013 (pp. 790-796). [6699028] (2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2013). https://doi.org/10.1109/THS.2013.6699028