ARMS™ - a handheld device and software system for the rapid capture and management of data

Acquiring and integrating geospatial and feature intelligence into a rapid decision-making pro-cess is a challenge that faces engineers and other professionals at all levels. Conventional meth-ods are labor-intensive, involve multiple tech-nologies that are not well integrated, and require numerous steps to produce a map or report. As a solution, Tad Britt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), designed and developed the Automated Resource Management System (ARMS™ - patent pending).ARMS™ is a handheld instrument that can col-lect high-resolution digital data in a logical, consistent manner and organize them into a database. Managers can access the data through preprogrammed queries or automatically gener-ate reports that can include geo-referenced maps and photos embedded within the text. This technology allows engineering and resource management professionals (like those working in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina) to col-lect and analyze data in order to rank and pri-oritize projects. The information can be used to monitor changes, implement methodological improvements, increase efficiency, and engage effectively in project decisions. Britt’s initial development and testing for this system were significantly advanced under collaboration with Surveylab Group, Ltd., a young company located in New Zealand with a distribution affiliate in the United States. Under a Cooperative Re-search and Development Agreement (CRADA), Surveylab enhanced its handheld data collection hardware with CERL’s ARMS™ innovations, creating the ike304TM for field data collection and reporting. Over 150 units have been sold and deployed during the U.S. Army’s Operation Iraqi Freedom and the U.S. Army Corps of En-gineers, civil works program.Since product launch, Britt has continued to drive the technology toward a next-generation release designed to meet the most challeng-ing field requirements. Under a 2006 CRA-DA, CERL and commercial partner Compass Systems, Inc., are developing a new version of ARMS™ focused on engineering field applica-tions. The HAMMER™ will join the ike304TMin meeting future demand from federal projects, including natural and cultural resource stud-ies, environmental baseline studies, humanitar-ian demining, disaster response, and homeland security assessments. Commercial applications may include construction, real estate, municipal-ity management, fish and wildlife management, forestry, highways, and manufacturing.
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