Critical Infrastructure Inspection Management System (CIIMS)
aerial view of metropolitan area

Without the help of a CIIMS device, performing a rapid analysis of an area from an aerial view is extremely challenging.

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You're probably aware that law enforcement and military agencies use aerial photography and surveillance as part of their work. If you've ever looked out of an airplane window while you're in flight, though, you know it can be difficult to make sense of anything on the ground when you're looking at it from the air. Thus, a map and GPS are an essential part of in-flight surveillance.

An innovative system known as the Critical Infrastructure Inspection Management System (CIIMS) is going beyond static map and GPS data. CIIMS features mobile tablet devices with touch screens, similar in function to the Apple iPad or Motorola Xoom. Using CIIMS, people conducting air surveillance can send and receive real-time information about activities on the ground. This means that both air and ground forces have access to crucial data needed to make swift decisions during a crisis [source: DHS].

CIIMS started as a partnership between DHS and the Maryland State Police (MSP), funded by DHS. The system was designed by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. By mid-2011, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had joined the MSP as a proving ground for CIIMS technology [source: CIIMS].

So far, we've looked at technology that plays an active role in the war on terrorism. Coming up, let's immerse ourselves in a technology that's getting soldiers prepared for action even before they're in the field.