NASA'S 'POINTER' Tracks First Responders Where GPS Fails

NASA'S 'POINTER' Tracks First Responders Where GPS Fails

The consequences of using the wrong exit out of a shopping center are minimal, but when it’s a firefighter trying to make her way out of a burning building, the stakes for tracking her precise location and orientation are high. A system is being developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) with funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track first responders accurately and in real time in spaces—such as buildings made of steel and concrete—where GPS and other technologies fail. The primary goal of the new system—Precision Outdoor and Indoor Navigation and Tracking for Emergency Responders, or POINTER—is to save the lives of those whose job it is to save lives.

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