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Government IT projects make headlines

by / July 9, 2004
The Department of Homeland Security said the Arizona Border Control Initiative will use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to increase border surveillance. Two UAVs, flying at up to 22,000 feet and transmitting detailed photos, will monitor the 350-mile Arizona/Mexico border to help detect and deter terrorist activities and cross-border illegal trafficking of people and drugs. -- The Arizona Republic

This fall, Colorado State University will offer 5,000 students living in residence halls the option to purchase wind power. Students can buy 100 percent wind energy for their rooms for $17 per year. Typically a residence hall student uses about 1,600 kilowatt hours of electricity during the nine-month school year.

To reduce crime, Manalapan, Fla., will install surveillance cameras as part of a system to track every person who drives through town. Cameras will photograph drivers and license plates, and software will run tag numbers to see if motorists are wanted by police or driving a stolen car. --

The South Portland, Maine, Bus Service will install GPS on its buses this summer. The satellite technology will let riders waiting at some stops use a computer monitor to confirm a bus's position along its route. The city bus system handles between 550 and 700 riders a day.

The University of Nebraska State Museum can currently display only a fraction of 1 percent of its fossil collection, so part-time employee Gregory Brown is building a Web site of each county's fossils. More than a dozen counties are included, and he hopes to add additional counties each month.

New York started a training program for state doctors to prepare them to respond to biological, chemical or radiological attacks. Doctors will receive Web-based training and urgent communications to help them during public health emergencies. Participating physicians have access to daily news webcasts, a physician intranet and useful Web links.

The Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center north of Sioux Falls, S.D., is recording the way the U.S. landscape has changed in the past 30 years. The center processes images taken by satellites 440 miles above Earth. Tom Loveland, an EROS research geographer, said the goal is to create an illustrated atlas within two years. -- USA Today

The Navy's Aviation Survival Training Center on Whidbey Island, Wash., opened its $4.4 million pool complex. The facility is 22,000 square feet with 15,000 square feet of training area. The pool complex features a multiseat underwater escape trainer, a parachute drag device, a "Slide for Life" descent trainer and equipment to simulate night, storm and hostile survival conditions.

A network of sensors to monitor earthquakes along the Teton Fault in northwest Wyoming should be completed by the end of August, seismologist Harley Benz said. The U.S. Geological Survey is installing the system, which Benz said will tell scientists quake locations and sizes. -- USA Today

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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