CivTAK in Emergency Response
The power and flexibility of this remarkable hand-held system is astonishing. It was designed to enhance Command and Control at tactical levels by integrating communications, computation, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, exploiting leading edge technology that we are all now very familiar with – cellular handsets and tablets capable of providing an immensely powerful integrated capability.
TAK stands for ‘Tactical Awareness Kit’ and is the realisation of an insightful development programme that builds on leading edge civil technologies. The program has delivered a sophisticated, rapidly evolving and highly usable applications set that simply does its job well. But the insightful ‘step beyond’ is in making the application set freely and widely available as an open sourced project – known as CivTAK.
Why so interesting? … well the applicability goes well beyond military use. It offers a solution that has potential value in a wide variety of civil contexts, most notable amongst these being emergency and emergency response services. As many a rambler will testify it’s an excellent travelling companion.
CivTAK offers no or low cost access to a well thought through system of individual and shared situation awareness, geo-information systems, route planning and reporting apps (amongst other things). It can be readily integrated with or piggy-backed upon almost any available communications infrastructure.
CivTAK functionality will be be part of the feature set in our future Search & Rescue and Wildfire variants and for vehicles deployed in support of emergency response teams. There are real benefits in sectors such as agriculture, particularly in difficult and marginal terrains, and will be considering this as one of the tools in a wider land management toolset. We are also exploring touch points with our Autonomous Vehicle work, again with a focus on extremes of terrain; the open standards that underpin CivTAK open the door to enhancements that will also feed back into the wider ‘TAK’ community. We look forward to contributing in due course!