Northrop Grumman, Global Security team on alert systems

Northrop Grumman Corp. is teaming up with Global Security Systems Corp. to fulfill the requirements of a federal alert and public warning system that communicates with cell phones, computers, global positioning systems, wireless devices and other consumer devices.

Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems Sector and Global Security are combining their efforts to address the requirements of the Homeland Security Department’s Integral Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), according to a Global Security news release issued today.

“The combined systems will enable the president, state and local officials, and emergency management agencies to communicate with first responders as well as citizens in the event of a war, natural disaster, national, regional or local emergency,” Global Security officials said.

On Dec. 10, DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency published a request for information and a draft statement of work for support services for the warning system. President Bush ordered the new alert system in 2006.

FEMA officials say IPAWS will improve the current public alert system based on radio and TV broadcasts. The new system will utilize mobile devices such as cell phones, pagers, computers, GPS and other devices.

In addition, the Federal Communications Commission is developing Commercial Mobile Alert Standards for mobile phone alerts. Global Security officials served on the FCC committee establishing those standards, which distribute the alerts through the Common Alerting Protocol, an Extensible Markup Language standard developed by volunteers.

Northrop Grumman currently manages the emergency management information technology infrastructures in about 80 cities, according to the news release.

Northrop Grumman ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology’s 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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