September 24, 2008

Ohio-Developed High-Tech Blimp Used to Demonstrate Life-Saving Emergency Responsiveness

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A consortium of federal agencies, Ohio universities and private Ohio companies simulated a disaster today to demonstrate how the AerOhio1 Aerostat, a 75-foot long, high-tech blimp, can be used by emergency response teams to establish communication and provide visual contact during a crisis.

"This form of technology will help emergency responders reach and assist those in need more efficiently and knowledgably -- ultimately protecting and saving more lives," said Lanny Jines, Ph.D, P.E., acting program manager of High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE).

During natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other crises, debris, collapsed buildings and downed utility lines often block roads and delay rescue teams. Cellular towers, too, are often destroyed -- virtually halting communication -- and useable real-time images of disaster sites and subsequent terrorist activities are nonexistent due to lack of visual contact.

Equipped with advanced sensors such as high-resolution cameras and infrared detectors, the AerOhio1 Aerostat provides solutions to these challenges by connecting emergency responders, providing visuals of a disaster site, locating terrorists and improving emergency response time.

The demonstration was held at the ARES Inc. Munitions test site at 818 Front Street, Erie Industrial Park, Port Clinton, Ohio.

Dan Foote, aide to U.S. Congresswoman Mary Kaptur, who sponsored the legislation that funds this critically important national emergency and national security technology, spoke on her behalf.

   The Ohio-Centric consortium includes:    -- Army Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab   -- NASA John H. Glenn Research Center   -- Ohio Aerospace Institute   -- University of Cincinnati   -- University of Toledo   -- Lorain County Community College    -- SkySentry, LLC   -- Western DataCom, LLC   -- JAVA Groupe, LLC   -- Advantage Development, LLC   -- Base-X    

Participating volunteer groups, who used this demonstration as part of ongoing emergency training sessions, include:

   -- Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security   -- Ottawa Sheriff's Department   -- Ottawa County Volunteer Fire Department, EMS and Hazmat teams of the      Emergency Management Agency   -- Erie Township Volunteer Fire Department   -- Port Clinton Fire Department   -- Ohio Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS)   -- Federal Bureau of Investigation   -- Marblehead U.S. Coast Guard    

The demonstration was part of the Lighter-than-Air (LTA) and High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Payload Applications Workshop being organized by The AeroCentric Federation.

For more information, visit .

AeroCentric Federation

CONTACT: Doug Miller, Chief of Operations, SkySentry, LLC,+1-501-282-0167; Lanny A. Jines, Ph.D, P.E., HALE Acting Program Manager,+1-937-424-3483 x 102

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