OGC IoT pilot shows ad hoc integration of sensor systems in emergencies

Fri, 2015-05-15 06:00 -- SCC Staff

By Lew Leinenweber
Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

Rapid integration of information from diverse information sources plays a key role in responding to emergencies and disasters. The number of sources grows rapidly with the growing number of cell phones and other mobile devices, and also with the growing number of different types of sensors.

The OGC Incident Management Information Sharing Internet of Things Pilot Project (IMIS IoT Pilot), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate and the IJIS Institute, is being launched to demonstrate open system sensor integration for emergency and disaster response.

The OGC’s recently issued Request for Quotations/Call for Participation (RFQ/CFP) in the IMIS IoT Pilot invites technology providers to participate in demonstrating standards-based approaches to resolving difficulties that hinder use of diverse sensors in emergency response and disaster response situations. The IMIS IoT Pilot will apply, test and demonstrate, in real world applications, Standards Based Commercial Off-The-Shelf (SCOTS) products that already implement or will soon implement existing OGC standards and other related open standards from other standards organizations.

IMIS IoT Pilot system

In the pilot different types of sensor hubs (S-Hubs in the figure) that implement OGC Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) Standards will enable integration of information from three different types of proprietary sensor systems. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mobile image sensors, health and environmental sensor systems are potentially provided by different sensor system providers and they may be based on proprietary encodings and interfaces.  The diverse sensor systems and S-Hubs, however, are equipped with interfaces that implement open interface standards. These interfaces recognize and output data encoded using the OGC’s open encoding standards. This enables communication between the proprietary systems and an open-ended number of apps and control systems on the larger web. The larger sensor web may be assembled in an ad hoc manner on short notice or it may be integrated as part of a larger first responder network. The HubCat, a catalog of registered sensor systems and sensor types, provides emergency and disaster managers with information about sensor resources. Those resources might be searchable, for example, by location, sensor type and sensor state. The resources might include stored sensor data, searchable by date and time.

After the pilot completes, outcomes will be documented in public OGC Engineering Reports, which may result in OGC discussion papers, best practices or new standards-prototyping activities.

The RFQ/CFP and information about the IMIS pilot project are available at https://www.ogc.org/standards/requests/133. Responses are due by 5 p.m. EDT on May 22, 2015.

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Lew Leinenweber is Director Interoperability Programs at the Open Geospatial Forum, which is a member of the Smart Cities Council Advisory Board.