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WASP: Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform

Making a difference in firefighter safety and performance.

WASP addresses two critical problems identified on the InterAgency Board (IAB)'s R&D Priority List: Emergency Responder Body Worn Integrated Electronics System Development and 3D Tracking of Personnel.

Firefighters experience extreme physiological stress during the course of their duties. According to the United States Fire Administration, stress and overexertion accounts for 50% or more of firefighter line of duty deaths. Factors that affect firefighter physiological responses include exertion of work performed, elevated thermal environment, wearing heavily insulated protective clothing, carrying heavy equipment, as well as individual health status, fitness level, medication, and hydration level. Firefighters are also exposed to extreme hazards during the course of emergency response. WASP provides a tool for incident commanders to track the location of team members to improve situational awareness and potentially shorten the time needed for a RIT team to rescue a downed firefighter.

WASP provides instructors at training academies or incident commanders on scene with mission essential situational, real-time awareness of both physiological status and location/tracking of personnel to aid in decision making.

  • 1. The WASP shirt is made from a comfortable 4-way stretch knit fabric that wicks moisture away from the body and dries quickly. This fabric exceeds ASTM D 6413 for flame resistance.

  • 2. The physiological sensors are mounted on an adjustable strap embedded within a flame-resistant T-shirt.

  • 3. The TRX location unit, about the size of a deck of cards, is worn on a belt at the waist and provides indoor location data in 3D in GPS-denied environments.

  • 4. The Zephyr BioHarness 3 electronic module is small, detachable and attaches securely to the outside of the shirt. The system tracks heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, activity levels, posture, and other physiological factors.

Together with screening and fitness, firefighter monitoring is a critical element to make sure that everyone comes home.

This body-worn system integrates physiological and location monitoring into a single system that collects, transmits, and displays integrated user data in real time at a command station.

The combined WASP system transmits data in real time over Motorola APX radios, Android cell phones, or Wi-Fi networks.

WASP System Features

  • Flame-resistant, moisture wicking, semi-fitted, base layer shirt that incorporates Zephyr BioHarness 3 physiological monitoring technology.
  • Shirt is comfortable for firefighters to wear continuously for a full 24 hour shift, as well as durable to withstand normal firefighter activities and multiple washes.
  • Embedded strap with a low profile buckle closure contains electronic sensors and adjusts to allow the user to set it once for functionality and comfort and then unbuckle for easier donning and doffing.
  • Location tracking system, using technology provided by TRX Systems, permits ready integration with Motorola APX radios or Android cell phones. About the size of a deck of cards, unit is worn on a belt under the firefighter’s turnout gear.
  • Windows-based command station receives data from live sessions or logged data from memory and provides tools to rapidly analyze user physiological response over time, in addition to showing user location and tracks.
  • Both physiology and location data for each user wearing the WASP system are displayed on the same command station screen with an easy to understand graphical user interface.

WASP Project Team

Globe led a multi-discipline team consisting of Zephyr Technology (physiological monitoring), TRX Systems (location tracking), Propel (textile development), Skidmore College Health and Exercise Sciences (physiology science) with support from the US Army NSRDE to develop this integrated system. Field trials of WASP during development provided invaluable firefighter feedback that was incorporated into all phases of development, design, and production.

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