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SSR-RC I/UCRC Spring Meeting, May 1–2, 2014, Minneapolis, MN

2014 Spring SSR-RC I/UCRC Meeting, May 1–2, 2014, Minneapolis, MN. Spring Meeting website

I/UCRC Safety Security and Rescue Annual Meeting, November 3–4, 2011, Minneapolis, MN

2011 I/UCRC Safety Security and Rescue Annual Meeting — November 3–4, 2011, Minneapolis, MN. Annual Meeting website

SSR-RC Fall Symposium, November 10, 2008, Philadelphia, PA

November 10, 2008 at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

The GRASP Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania will host the next meeting for the Safety Security Rescue Research Center, SSR-RC, on November 10, 2008. 2008 Fall Symposium website

SSR-RC Spring Symposium, June 9–10, 2008, Minneapolis

June 9–10, 2008 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

The 2008 SSR-RC Spring Symposium was held at the Digital Technology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. 2008 SSR-RC Spring Symposium website

SSR-RC Fall Meeting, November 27, 2007, Philadelphia

Tuesday, November 27 at Drexel University, Philadelphia PA

The NSF SSR-RC Fall meeting will be held on November 27 at Drexel University. This will be an exciting meeting, given all the new opportunities that arise with the addition of new members.

2007 Fall Meeting website

SSR-RC Spring Symposium Set for June 11 & 12

NSF Safety, Security, and Rescue Research Center plans Spring Symposium

The National Science Foundation Safety, Security and Rescue Research Center (SSR-RC) has set this year's spring symposium for June 11 & 12. The SSR-RC is a consortium of companies and universities focused on medium-term research into various areas of homeland security. Consistent with the decisions of last fall's business meeting, particular areas of research to be highlighted this year include automated video surveillance, monitoring of human activities, and detection of hostile intent. Application areas include surveillance of large physical plants such as airports, transit stations and power plants, and niche projects such as airport exit lane monitoring.

These highlighted areas are in addition to the center's existing activities in UAVs and UGVs for disaster response, human/robot interfaces for hazardous environments, and emergency responder training.

Companies interested in joining the research activities of the SSR-RC should contact Richard Voyles ( or Robin Murphy (

SSR-RC Business Meeting "Cruises" into History

NSF Safety, Security, and Rescue Research Center Ranks Projects

With summer clinging on in Minnesota, SSR-RC members were treated to a beautiful river boat cruise on the Mississippi River taking in both skylines of the Twin Cities: Minneapolis and St. Paul. Fall colors were nearly at peak for the trip, which, unfortunately, turned into one of the largest one-day downpours in recent memory as five inches of rain battered the "Paradise Lady" just about at the St. Paul terminus and for the remainder of the trip. Revelers were undaunted by the deteriorating weather conditions as discussions inside were vibrant and collaborative!

On October 4 & 5, the NSF SSR-RC held its second annual business meeting to select research projects for the up-coming year. The SSR-RC holds two business meetings per year with the Fall Meeting being the one during which research proposals for the coming calendar year are ranked in order of preference by the industrial membership. The 16 member organizations and two universities heard presentations of existing projects, proposals for new projects, and debated their relative significances on a variety of homeland security topics involving emergency response, detection of suspicious human activity, search and rescue robots for felled buildings, and wireless communication devices in difficult RF environments.

Project titles generating the greatest interest include:

Projects will actually be chosen based on a combination of company interest and available funding.

SSR-RC Hosts "Camp Hurricane"

Disaster preparedness for hurricane season

On July 26, 27, 28 the NSF SSR-RC and CRASAR (Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at the University of South Florida) joined emergency responders from Florida Task Force 3 for a field exercise at the Tampa Fire Department training facility. The goal of this exercise was to bring corporate leaders, academic researchers, and emergency response decision makers together to tout the latest and greatest technology.

While the forte of the SSR-RC is novel sensors and robotic devices, emergency response is as much about communicating as it is about moving and detecting. Particularly in a large-scale event such as a hurricane, when large areas are involved and wide-scale disabling of infrastructure is likely, the ability to communicate to pre-positioned assets is of paramount importance. Freedom-4-Wireless, a new corporate member of the SSR-RC, showed off their rapidly deployable networking infrastructure for high bandwidth communication in devastated areas.

In addition to the infrastructure demo, various aerial reconaissance platforms, novel sensors, and novel human/computer interfaces were displayed and tested.

Dr. Voyles Attends Congressional Showcase

Dr. Voyles Attends Homeland Security Technology Showcase

On April 13, Congressman Rogers hosted the Homeland Security Technology Showcase in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. The Technology Showcase brought together industry representatives and government officials interested in promoting technology aimed at homeland security. Dr. Voyles represented the SSR-RC at the event and met with several industry representatives as well as under secretary McQueary of the Department of Homeland Security.

SSR-RC Struts Its Stuff

SSR-RC Joins New Jersey Task Force 1 at Lakehurst Rubble Pile

On February 9, 10, 11 the NSF SSR-RC and CRASAR (Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at the University of South Florida) joined emergency responders from New Jersey Task Force 1 for a field exercise at the Lakehurst Naval Air and Engineering Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The goal of this field exercise was to test robotic search and rescue gear in a cold-weather environment and to allow NJTF1 responders a chance to observe, operate, and comment on next-generation search and rescue tools.

In addition, February 11 brought several additional research teams to the site for "R4: Rescue Robots for Research and Response". This is an NSF-sponsored program administered by USF to provide opportunities for academic researchers outside the SSR-RC to demonstrate their accomplishments and test their technologies in realistic scenarios.

Quipped Richard Voyles, Site-Director of the SSR-RC, "While most of the activities were staged, we actually had to perform a real rescue! A small piece of test equipment accidentally fell deep into the rubble pile, beyond arm's reach. Fortunately, TerminatorBot is designed to fit into small crevices as small as three inches across. It was a perfect opportunity to show off what our small robot can do. Unfortunately, somebody with a coat hanger fished out the wayward part while we were powering up the robot, but we dropped the TerminatorBot into the hole just to prove we could do it!"

In the end, NJTF1 saw small robots, big robots, sensors for detecting survivors, sensors to see in the dark, and software and interfaces to make it all work. And, more importantly, ideas and business cards were exchanged so the next meeting will be even more spectacular.

Contact SSR-RC

University of Minnesota

Dr. Vassilios Morellas
4-192 EE/CS Building
200 Union Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Dr. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos
4-192 EE/CS Building
200 Union Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 625-0163

Mr. Mike Bazakos
Managing Director, NSF/SSR-RC
4-192 EE/CS Building
200 Union Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 554-1343