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Two DHS Urban Area Security Initiative Grants awarded to the CATT Laboratory

Two DHS Urban Area Security Initiative Grants awarded to the CATT Laboratory

The Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab), under the direction of Michael L. Pack, has received two separate Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants totaling $2.3 million. Both grants are awarded by the Department of Homeland Security and will last approximately two-years. These projects aim to strengthen information sharing and collaboration capabilities within the national capital region by expanding upon the existing Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS) and creating tools that can be used by regional officials help make collaborative decisions regarding work-release, evacuations, etc.

RITIS is widely used by well over 800 individual users and 100 individual public safety, government, law enforcement, military, defense, and transportation agencies in the NCR. As the user-base continues to grow, additional functionality is always being requested by various public and private agencies.  With the onslaught of the past two year's rough winter weather, agencies are clammoring for increased road condition information through the monitoring of plow and salt truck information through GPS monitoring that already existst on many of these trucks.  Similarly, agencies also want enhanced CCTV availability and CAD integration from local law enforcement. The resultant new RITIS functionality would add these sources of information to the already robust and readily used platform.

The CATT Lab will also be performing an expansion of the RITIS evacuation  monitoring capabilities. During a recent review of evacuation plans, practices, and coordination in the D.C. National Capitol Area by the All Hazards Consortium and the University of Maryland showed that the region still struggles with decision making with respect to when and how to evacuate, close schools, etc. whether it be for an impending hurricane, snowstorm, or act of terrorism.  The end-state of this project is to expand the capabilities of the already widely-used RITIS program to provide collaborative, web-based, user-friendly consesus building tools and support tools that easily allow multiple agencies and decision makers to work together to come to consensus when developing strategies before and during any evacuation of any scale or type and to rapidly disseminate that information to the public as needed.

For more information about RITIS, visit the CATT Lab website at:

About the CATT Lab

The Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, supports National, State, and local efforts to provide safe and efficient transportation systems through improved operations and management by means of research and development, technology implementation, training and education.

The CATT Lab is supported by an interdisciplinary staff of graduate and undergraduate student researchers, affiliated faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering, and a permanent team of ITS professionals.

For more information about the CATT Lab visit

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November 8, 2011

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