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July 2006
Technically Speaking

Let's Take a PEEK at PEAC-WMD v.5

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Wonderful Wyoming



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Department of Homeland Security’s CEDAP Phase III

PEAC-WMD and DHS’s CEDAP Phase III

I suspect most of our readers are too busy to monitor changes made to our News and Events page on the AristaTek web site. So to bring our readers up to date, AristaTek’s PEAC‑WMD product will again be offered as a selection in the next round on DHS’s CEDAP (Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program) catalog. This next opportunity is referred to as the CEDAP Phase III, and the PEAC package offered is a slightly different configuration than the last offering in Phase II. This time around the PEAC‑WMD software is bundled with both hardware for the Windows version and for the Pocket PC version into a PEAC Incident Command Kit.

CEDAP Discussion

I have not found a specific DHS discussion that describes the CEDAP Phase III process, but I have found a description of the program that was released in March 2005 by DHS. The CEDAP is not a grant program; rather the key features of the program include delivering equipment and training to CEDAP recipients.

There are a few acronyms I should review before going any further:
1. SLGCP - Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, which was the office in DHS that coordinated the distribution of DHS funds, provided to the states and territories as grants to the local municipalities. The SLGCP had a recent name change, it is now the Office of Grants & Training, and as best I can tell, it still has the same mission.
2. SHSP –the State Homeland Security Program was one of the FY05 grant programs coordinated by the SLGCP.
3. UASI – the Urban Areas Security Initiative program was one of the FY05 grant programs coordinated by the SLGCP.
4. MIPT – the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism located in Oklahoma City, OK.
5. RKB – the Responder Knowledge Base is hosted by the MIPT, a web-based information tool for first responders.
6. SAA – the State Administrative Agent is designated by the Governor of each state and is the only agency eligible to apply for HSGP funds and is responsible for obligating Homeland Security Grant Program funds to local units of government and other designated recipients.
7. STR – the State Technology Representative is designated by the SAA to assist SLGCP in the CEDAP program.

The equipment will be provided mainly to small agencies, departments and jurisdictions. These jurisdictions will have to show they have not been able to purchase this equipment through other sources such as the SLGCP’s (now the Office of Grants and Training) SHSP or UASI program. Receipt of equipment under the FY 2005 CEDAP was contingent upon the submission and approval of the on-line CEDAP application through the Responder Knowledge Base (RKB). Applicants submitted their equipment requests using the RKB at www.rkb.mipt.org.

The CEDAP is a competitive process and applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Applications will be scored, ranked and rated by subject matter experts. Jurisdictions may request only one device in their application. The CEDAP program begins with an application review period. Although applications cannot be submitted during this 15-day timeframe, applicants are encouraged to review the application, ask questions, and research application questions. Applications will be accepted the day following the closure of the review period and the application window will be open to submit applications for 30 days. Eligible jurisdictions are strongly encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible. Since applications will be accepted in the order they are received, it is in the best interest of the applicant to submit their applications promptly.

The CEDAP eliminates the traditional red tape and paperwork involved when processing applications through normal DHS funding channels. This doesn’t mean however that the SAA (State Administrative Agency) is excluded from the CEDAP process. In fact, SAA’s will be asked to review each request submitted from their state. The SAA will receive automatic email notifications of their state’s CEDAP applications. Notifications will be sent to the SAA’s before the applications are rated or ranked by SLGCP. SAA’s who object to an applicant’s request because it is not consistent with the state strategy will have seven (7) days to notify SLGCP of these concerns. To reduce e-mail traffic and help to make this process as manageable as possible notifications will be batched to the extent practicable and forwarded to the SAA and State Technology Representative for their review.

The STR will act as the Systems Support Division’s (SSD) single point of contact to answer your state’s equipment questions and act as a sounding board for SSD regarding CEDAP and other state-based equipment initiatives with SSD. The STR will be an important resource in the CEDAP process to help validate equipment requests and obtain feedback on the equipment delivery process.

From a presentation made by Dr. Brian K. Houghton, with MIPT’s Responder Knowledge Base on Feb. 23, 2006, it appears the Phase III funding will be at $30 million vs. the $24 million funding for Phase II.


One question that apparently has been raised is if a jurisdiction received a CEDAP award does that affect their Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) eligibility? The answer given was, No. A CEDAP award would not impact a jurisdiction's qualifications for any other DHS grants. CEDAP is essentially a first responder program, centered principally on terrorism preparedness. The terrorism preparedness G&T programs are generally funded based on 1) formula; or 2) risk & need -- neither of which should be impacted by a CEDAP award.

http://www.firegrantsupport.com/afg/faq/06/faq_misc.aspx - q16

The PEAC Incident Command Kit

During the last five years, AristaTek has seen an increase in the number of units purchased by individual response organizations. The increase has been exhibited both in the number of units acquired in initial purchases and in agencies coming back to acquire additional units to support their response capabilities. The PEAC Incident Command Kit provides a turn-key solution by supporting the command post operation while concurrently supporting a survey team, an operations team, and a safety officer during an incident response. The Command Kit combines the software with hardware in the following configuration: one (1) copy of the PEAC WMD for Windows on a ruggedized laptop (included) combined with three (3) copies of the PEAC WMD for the Pocket PC, each loaded on a ruggedized PDA (included). Included is on-site training for 20 persons and technical support and upgrades for 3 years.

Most of our readers are familiar with the software and its capabilities but many may not be familiar with the platforms available. AristaTek has offered the RECON, a ruggedized Pocket PC from Tripod Data Systems (TDS) - Corvallis OR, for the last 2-3 years. The hardware provides a very rugged platform with the same capabilities found on the typical business platform such as the Hewlett-Packard iPAQs or the Dell Axims. The primary differences are the ability to:
1. Operate over a wider temperature range.
2. Take the harsher environmental conditions like water and dust.
3. Take the anticipated drops that most instruments experience when used in an outdoor setting.

The RECON currently comes in two flavors, a 200 MHz and a 400 MHz processor models. AristaTek has tested both versions and found little difference in the performance of the PEAC-WMD application on the two processors. TDS has just announced the release of a new version of the RECON, which is called the RECON-X Series. This version has some basic new features which center around the change to the Windows Mobile 5 operating system. With the change to Mobile 5, the individual units will now have more flash memory, e.g., the RECON 200X will increase to 128 MB of flash and the RECON 400X will have 256 MB of flash.

What is very important for all our readers is to understand the impact of moving to the Windows Mobile 5 operating system. Past users of Pocket PCs are familiar with the problem of volatile memory (also called non-persistent memory) and what happens to the 3rd party software (like PEAC-WMD) if the battery drains off over time. Everything in volatile memory is lost and must be restored before using the application. AristaTek had some work-arounds or solutions that minimized that problem but it still was a nuisance and tended to bite folks in the butt when they least needed it. With Windows Mobile 5, all 3rd party applications are automatically loaded into the flash memory, i.e., non-volatile memory. Therefore, if battery power is depleted the 3rd party applications in flash aren’t lost and when power is restored things are Good to Go! This feature of Windows Mobile 5 is for all Pocket PCs, not just the TDS RECON-X Series.

The other features added to the new RECON-X Series is the availability of wireless options, both Bluetooth and 802.11g, that can be ordered as an integrated options. Besides our personal color choice of the high visibility yellow, there are optional choices of grey and military green.

Before listing the specifications of the RECON-X Series platforms, I’d like to briefly discuss the IP rating of 67 for the RECON-X Pocket PC. The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is a system used to rate the environmental influence on equipment and enclosures. It is typically a two-digit system with the first digit quantifying the protection against solid objects (dirt/dust) and the second digit quantifying the protection against liquids (water). The table (Table 1) below provides a summary of the different ratings a product might have and what they represent.

Table 1 – Definition of IP Ratings

1st number protection against solid objects


Definition

2nd number protection against liquids
Definition

0


No protection

0


No protection

1

Protected against solids objects over 50mm (e.g. accidental touch by hands

1

Protected against vertically falling drops of water

2

Protected against solids objects over 12mm (e.g. fingers)

2

Protected against direct sprays up to 15° from the vertical

3

Protected against solids objects over 2.5mm (e.g. tools and wires)

3

Protected against direct sprays up to 60° from the vertical

4

Protected against solids objects over 1mm (e.g. tools, wires and small wires

4

Protected against sprays from all directions - limited ingress permitted

5

Protected against dust - limited ingress (no harmful deposit)

5

Protected against low pressure jets if water from all directions - limited ingress permitted

6

Totally protected against dust

6

Protected against strong jets of water e.g. for use on shipdecks - limited ingress permitted



7

Protected against the effects of temporary immersion between 15cm and 1m. Duration of test 30 minutes



8

Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

Table 2 provides a listing of the RECON-X Series specifications.

Table 2 – RECON-X Series Specifications


Product Name:

Tripod Data Systems RECON-X Series


Product Description:

Two Options: RECON 400X or RECON 200X

RECON 400X: 64 MB RAM with 256 MB Flash memory, Intel PXA255 Processor @ 400 MHz with two Compact Flash card slots.

RECON 200X: 64 MB RAM with 128 MB Flash memory, Intel PXA255 Processor @ 200 MHz with two Compact Flash card slots.
Screen: Sunlight-readable color TFT display; ¼ VGA - 240 x 320 pixel color TFT with LED front light

Size: (LxWxH) 6.50" x 3.75" x 1.75"
Weight: 17 ounces (490 g) including rechargeable PowerBoot

Connectivity: Standard 9-pin male D-shell RS-232 serial and USB ports (no cradle) for synchronization with your PC of e-mail, files, internet channels, contacts, calendar, and notes.
Optional: Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless

Power: 3800 mAh NiMH rechargeable pack (standard)
Optional AA PowerBoot Module

Warranty: TDS Handheld Computer products are warranted for a period of 12 months from date of shipment.
Operating temperature: -22 to 140°F (-30 to 60°C)
Ruggedized: MIL-STD-810F, Method 516.5, Procedure IV
26 drops from 4 ft (1.22 m) onto plywood over concrete
6 additional drops at -4°F (-20°C)
6 additional drops at 140°F (60°C)
Sand & Dust: IP67, MIL-STD-810F, Method 510.4, Procedures I and II
Humidity: MIL-STD-810F, Method 507.4
Water: IP67, sealed against accidental immersion (1m for 30 minutes), MIL-STD-810F, Method 512.4, Procedure I
Vibration: MIL-STD-810F, Method 514.5, Procedure I, Figures 17 and 18
Altitude: MIL-STD-810F, Method 500.4, Procedures I, II and III 15,000 ft at 73°F (23°C)







Product Image:


TDS RECON-X Series Pocket PC
Available with either Yellow (shown) or Gray or Military Green impact plastic case
Ruggedized - Dust & Waterproof


In addition to the three ruggedized PDAs with software, the PEAC Incident Command Kit also includes a ruggedized laptop with the PEAC-WMD for Windows software. The ruggedized laptop provides the Command Post with a platform running the PEAC system and which can accommodate other software applications the jurisdiction may decide to install and that meet their requirements. There are obviously different configurations available for the GoBook III, but a basic package was specified to meet the basic needs for most agencies. The decision was to provide a basic platform to meet most users’ needs rather than include special options that may or may not be suitable for all recipients. The CEDAP platform was upgraded to an 80 GB hard drive from the standard 40 GB hard drive and a 12-VDC power adapter was added to allow charging off a standard vehicle cigarette lighter. The specifications for the GoBook III are provided in Table 3.

Table 3 – Itronix GoBook III Description

Product Name:
Itronix GoBook III laptop

Product Description:

Itronix GoBook III laptop (ruggedized Die Cast Magnesium) – Meets MIL STD 810F; IP 54 Rating; Optional Intrinsically Safe and non-incendive systems rating: Class 1, Division 2, Group A, B, C and D

Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium® M-Processor 745 w/512 MB RAM

Display: 12.1” TFT XGA Enhanced Outdoor Transmissive ColorVue™, ATI Mobility Radeon Graphics Engine with 64 MB dedicated memory
Touchscreen: Passive 1000 x 1000 Resolution
Backlit Display: Hi Bright Transmissive display

Hard Disk Drive: Shock Mounted 2.5” 80 GB

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP – Service Pack 2

I/O Ports: RJ-11, USB, PS/2 for keyboard/mouse, 9-pin serial, 68‑pin multi-I/O docking, audio, RJ-45 for 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN, Mini 1394a Firewire® 400 connector

Power supply: 6600 mAH LI-ion (main), 12 VDC vehicle adapter (included), AC adapter (included)

Modem: 56 kbps V.92

Warranty: 3 yr Limited Lifetime

Operating Temperature: -23 to 60°C (-10 to 140°F) with optional hard drive heater

Weight: 8.2 lbs (3.7 kg)

Size: 12” (L) x 2.36” (D) x 9.8” (W)

Product Image:


Itronix GoBook III Ruggedized Laptop


The bottom line is that for those agencies that qualify under DHS’s CEDAP Phase III application process and are seeking to improve their ability to respond to a CBRNE and HAZMAT incidents, this may be an ideal opportunity to support that mission.

AristaTek’s understanding is the application process is scheduled to open in mid-August 2006. If the same schedule as FY05 is used, the applications can be submitted for about 30 days, after which the evaluation process commences. Check the RKB web site (www.rkb.mipt.org) for the most recent updates on the program and to access the application process.

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