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January 15, 2009

Media Contacts:

Kristi Marren
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

APL-developed Aerial Technology Receives Homeland Security Secretary's Team Excellence Award

APL is part of a multiagency team honored by the Department of Homeland Security for developing a technology to help aerial law-enforcement personnel inspect bridges, buildings and other important structures.

In a Nov. 20 ceremony, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff presented the Secretary's Award for Team DHS Excellence to the department's Science and Technology Directorate, along with The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Maryland State Police, for joint efforts on the Critical Infrastructure Inspection Management System, or CIIMS (pronounced "sims"). The award recognizes outstanding achievements resulting in superior performance, significant operational improvements or notable innovation in support of DHS missions.

CIIMS, a pilot project, helps inspectors manage and prioritize inspections through structured monitoring, data collection and information sharing within federal, state and local intelligence communities. The computer-based tool developed by APL enables inspection teams to visualize their location and proximity to property being inspected and document what they find through a series of questions that guide them through the inspection process.

The CIIMS prototype was tested on a Maryland State Police helicopter and plane in September 2007 and is currently being flight-tested aboard helicopters used by the Los Angeles Police Department's Aviation Support Division. Through the LAPD Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau's Archangel program, LAPD aviation crews identify and assess vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures to protect them from terrorist attacks.

Additionally, efforts are under way to adapt the CIIMS tool for use by ground personnel or foot patrols, and APL teams are investigating its feasibility for patrol-car use. It could potentially be enhanced for use by boat- and train-based patrols, too.

CIIMS is funded by the Command, Control and Interoperability Division of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate.

For more information about CIIMS, visit http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/stories/st071030.asp.

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.