The SIGNAL Blog

Industry, Government Partnerships Key to Disaster Response

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Day two of the National Conference on Emergency Communications demonstrated that, as hoped, networking is the norm for this event. The chatter from first responder organization representatives from throughout the United States before the morning break-out sessions was nearly deafening.

Emergency Communications Experts Discuss Unplanned, Planned Response Events

April 22, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Two case studies were the topic of discussion during the final presentation of the first day of the National Conference on Emergency Communications. The discussions centered around two large-scale multijurisdictional responses: one unplanned and one planned.

Open Discussion Leads to Details and Answers

April 22, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Both federal and local emergency response leaders opened the first formal session of the National Conference on Emergency Communications by inviting attendees to share openly success stories as well as the challenges they face. More than 450 representatives from emergency response organizations are attending the conference, including personnel from the military as well as large and small U.S. communities and Guam, Hawaii, the United Kingdom and Canada.

First National Conference on Emergency Communications Opens in Chicago

April 22, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - The first National Conference on Emergency Communications opened today with the goal of creating a national forum for emergency responders. In addition, the conference has been designed to clarify roles and initiatives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and its partner programs are leading.

Green UAVs Quietly Fly Forward

April 27, 2009

Ion Tiger, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research program at the Naval Research Laboratory, is merging UAV technology and fuel cell systems that are more efficient and reduce noise. An Office of Naval Research-sponsored program, the Ion Tiger UAV tests a hydrogen-powered fuel cell design that has more endurance in flight distance and payload weight than battery-powered designs. The UAV also features a low heat signature and no emissions. Still in the testing phases, the aircraft's flight trial this spring is expected to deliver results that exceed the duration of previous flights sevenfold: 24 hours with a five-pound payload.

Small Business to Receive Big Boost

April 24, 2009

The U.S. Air Force is redoubling its efforts to reach out to small businesses. David Van Buren, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, and Ronald Poussard, director of the service's small business programs, explain that this effort seeks to remove the "check-the-box" mentality often associated with small business outreach. Innovation, agility, responsiveness and efficiency are some of the attributes small companies offer, but Van Buren also says, "We don't have enough competition now. Growing these innovative small businesses will help us rectify that by increasing the industrial base." The service plans to enhance its relationship with small businesses by helping them move into the more mature states of development and production.

Boatsie's Boxes

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Boatsie's Boxes started out sending packages to the base hospital in Balad, Iraq, and now gives goodies to several military hospitals as well as young troops deployed for the first time. In addition, through help from service members, items now are reaching the front lines of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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