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Fire/Rescue Station,
Advanced Emergency Management Training Facility

In a unique partnership between UCF and Orange and Seminole counties, fire fighters from both counties are operating out of Central Florida’s newest fire station, located on the University of Central Florida campus. The fire/rescue station opened in late summer. An adjacent high-tech training center, administered by IST, began operation in the October.

The facilities are at the intersection of McCulloch Road—UCF’s northern boundary and the dividing line between Orange and Seminole counties—and Orion Boulevard. Staffed by both counties, the fire/rescue station answers emergency calls to campus and surrounding areas.

Population Growth a Factor
University and county officials have long been concerned about the area’s considerable population growth and the resulting impact on emergency services. A joint fire/rescue facility serving all three entities promises to be a cost-effective solution. Negotiations for the construction of a joint-use facility began in 1992. UCF provided the land and the two counties agreed to build and operate the fire/rescue station.

The 900-square-foot training center is an added benefit that fits in nicely with UCF and IST emergency management training initiatives. The state-of-the-art center will serve two major functions: training and developmental research.

Training will focus on "train the trainer" applications coordinated with Orange and Seminole County fire/rescue departments. Plans are to link the center’s computers via telephone and satellite communications to fire stations throughout the two counties. The links will provide countywide access to distance education courses developed by UCF, IST and others.

Developmental research will focus on new, custom-made instructional programs. IST researchers envision that these programs will fulfill a need for advanced emergency management training for professionals and fire safety education for the general public.

The center could become the core of a model county fire safety program for local communities and schools. School children can attend a class at the facility as part of a field trip. Access to actual fire safety equipment at the nearby station will reinforce the films, videos and interactive computer-based programs available at the center.

Prototype for Advanced-Level Training
UCF also hopes the training center can serve as a prototype for advanced, management-level instruction. With the growing public demand for well-managed crisis teams that can respond to large-scale emergencies, educators see a need for a program that can provide that level of training and complement the training now available at the local community colleges.

To support the center, IST envisions the development of a variety of computer-based simulation programs and interactive courseware. IST already has coordinated with Orange and Seminole County fire/rescue and with UCF Nursing to train EMTs and nurses at the facility, using the institute’s human patient simulator. The $75,000 simulator is a sophisticated, computer-animated mannequin that can be used to teach emergency medical procedures.

Principal scientist Peter Kincaid, Ph.D. is the IST researcher charged with operating the training center. Dr. Kincaid’s plans to use computers to model and simulate such catastrophic events as a tornado, hurricane or train wreck are intended to demonstrate practical and cost-effective ways to train emergency response professionals at all levels to prepare for and respond to crises.

The center’s collection of medical simulator software will help bring high technology into nursing and emergency medical technician training. Both IST and the university see emergency management as a growth area for training and research. The training center will be equipped with some of the latest in instructional media technology. It has the potential to become a resource for seminars for fire and emergency managers around the nation.

Additional benefits have accrued from the joint venture between the counties and the university. One has been the positioning of emergency crews to better serve both counties, regardless of political boundaries. Fire/safety agencies in both Orange and Seminole save money by sharing a building, apparatus, staff and costs.

The university benefits from increased service without having to set up a separate facility. The state-of-the-art, live patient simulation and other opportunities for training made available through the IST facility will add a 21st Century dimension to the project. Ultimately, the taxpayer will benefit from better-trained emergency managers, nurses and emergency medical technicians, more effective community safety education and enhanced response to area emergencies.

IST will look to outside sources to help fund the training center. A combination of grants, revenues from seminars and state and local funding will support research and educational programs.

Peter Kincaid, Ph.D.
(407) 658-5028  pkincaid@ist.ucf.edu


Crews from both Orange and Seminole counties operate the new Fire/Rescue Station (top picture) located on UCF's northern boundary. IST operates the state-of-the-art training facility (inset).
































































New director to lead IST into next century

Dennis K. McBride comes to IST from the Office of Naval Research where he was Research Program Officer, Aviation Medicine and Human Performance Program, Medical Science & Technology Division Office of Naval Research. He was responsible for programs adding up to $30 million annually.

Following the conferment of his first Ph.D., in experimental psychology and learning theory from the University of Georgia, Dr. McBride completed Navy Flight Surgeon School and Navy basic flight training. He subsequently was designated a Naval Aerospace Experimental Psychologist and served at five Navy laboratories, principally in human performance research and development and flight test of tactical aircraft and systems. He graduated from the Navy flight test engineering training program and was selected by the Navy as a NASA astronaut candidate. He also served as science advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (C4I).

As Program Manager for modeling and simulation at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Dr. McBride organized and managed agency programs in computer-generated forces, intelligent gateways and synthetic environments that were ultimately presented as the Synthetic Theatre of War Advance Concepts Technology Demonstration.

In addition to the Ph.D. in experimental psychology, his academic background includes a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics (pending) and master’s degrees in systems modeling, public administration and experimental psychology.

Dr. McBride has published and presented more than 100 scientific papers in the fields of experimental and engineering psychology, aeromedicine, information technology, economics and political science, sociobiology and flight test engineering. As an adjunct professor at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, his research interests have concentrated on modeling complex adaptive systems. He holds the designation of Naval Aerospace Experimental Psychologist from the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute and is Board Certified in Professional Ergonomics.

Having served as a Captain in the U.S. Navy, Dr. McBride will leave active Navy duty to become IST’s Executive Director. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service, Meritorious Service, Joint Service Commendation, Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medals. He was presented the L.P. Coombes medal (Australian Institute of Engineers) for technological contributions in 1994 and that same year became the most highly decorated life scientist in Navy uniform.



Dennis McBride

































IST Helping to Develop Future Spaceport Concepts

NASA began the Vision Spaceport Project at Kennedy Space Center to help create reliable and affordable access to space. The project is a five-year partnership formed to evaluate concepts for a new spaceport facility. It combines the expertise and resources of IST, NASA (Kennedy Space Center and Ames Research Center) and industry (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Command and Control Technologies, Science Applications International Corporation and Quantum Technologies Services International).

Kennedy Space Center formed this Spaceport Synergy Team, operating under an innovative Joint Sponsored Research Agreement, to develop revolutionary concepts for spaceport architectures and space launch operations capability needed for affordable space transportation.

Coming up with real-world, bottom line figures for a future spaceport whose space vehicles do not yet exist is no small task. Literally thousands of variables need to be considered. The best solutions will combine initial investment, cost of annual operation, cost per pound to launch a vehicle, cost per flight, number of flights per year and the minimum number of vehicles and people needed to operate such a port. Safety, ease of launch and recovery, accessibility, recycling time and conservation of resources, all factors critical to the cost of getting into space—and back—also come into play.

To apply numbers to the alternatives, the partners applied current understanding of what it takes to run a spaceport to develop a core model based on those many requirements. Researchers feed the core model information on alternative vehicles’ capabilities and support needs and the core model cranks out data based on each of the alternatives.

IST’s participation in the partnership is to create a module to help people visualize that data. This graphic representation of core model outputs will promote better understanding and encourage collaboration to make future concepts a present reality.

IST’s visual module application is not just an imaginative virtual reality tour of a possible spaceport. It provides a graphical extension of the core model created by the team as a whole.

The core model is meant to be a generic design and planning tool with a host of uses at facilities beyond Kennedy Space Center. IST’s initial proof of concept visualization module includes a library of visual images of present day KSC facilities and functionality that show various levels of detail. This becomes a starting point for a more general purpose visual representation of data from the core model.

The current visual object library consists of more than 340 facilities at KSC modeled by UCF graduate students in a 3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design) program using over 1,500 digital images for detailed texture. Using the visual module application, all models and data can be viewed at a number of levels. The viewer can navigate through the 3D visual representation of the core model data using either spatial (geographic) or functional modes for representing spaceport operations. Also, the viewer can simultaneously compare the current KSC site and a proposed spaceport concept with one site superimposed on the other.

The team looks forward to expanding the library with visual objects from others across the world who contribute their expertise and ideas for the collaborative development of spaceport concepts.

Design concepts for spacecraft include single stage rockets (no boosters) and commercial vehicles that can be rescheduled with minimum turnaround time. IST has added digital versions of these vehicle designs to the visualization module library for use in representing future spaceport concepts.

Using the Kennedy Space Center as a base, the visualization module can create a virtual reality world showing how a future spaceport at KSC might look.

One concept includes an airport-like control tower, a seaport for bringing in cargo by water, an integrated terminal for cargo and people, a vertical launch facility and a magnetically levitated track for horizontal vehicle launches.

Researchers hope this work will lead to advanced and visionary spaceports that can support mixed fleets and function more like an airport.

IST members of the Spaceport Synergy Team include Art Cortes, general manager of the Visual Systems Laboratory, Jim Parsons, principle investigator and Ron Hofer, co-principle investigator.

Graduate research assistants Jason Hupenbecker, Chris Kachurak, Sean Waldon, and Jason Daly assisted in developing the model library, menus and display icons. Bryan Kline developed the pointing device interface.



One of the concepts for a future spaceport facility as visualized by artist Pat Rawlings shows a horizontal rail launch system (center) alongside a landing strip. Support buildings are in the background and a control tower (forground) rises high above the complex.




























































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