DHS wants industry input on common operational picture

The Homeland Security Department is seeking advice from industry on how to improve its national Common Operational Picture (COP), which is used to provide situational awareness for federal, state and local officials during disasters.

DHS activated COP in May 2006 and uses it for strategic, operational and tactical purposes at the department’s National Operations Center. Officials plan to upgrade COP, refresh technology, and eventually build a new version that would accommodate improved visualization and more users.

DHS has asked companies with experience in refreshing COP technology and building a decision support system for advice. Officials want to see how difficult it would be to get the capabilities they want from the planned upgrades, according to a request for information published today on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

DHS said the COP and decision support system should be presented through a single user interface, be available on mobile devices, fully support Web 2.0 technologies, use DHS enterprise information-sharing tools, allow for the addition of real-time updates, and have unclassified, secret and top-secret levels. The department also wants COP to improve how sensitive but unclassified data travels between the operations center and DHS’ partners via the Homeland Security Information Network, the notice states.

Responses are due by April 10.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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