Confined Space Monitoring

Period of Performance: 08/05/2004 - 05/05/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nomadics, Inc.
1024 S. Innovation Way
Stillwater, OK 74074
Principal Investigator


Nomadics proposes development of a system consisting of an Entrant Safety Unit (ESU), carried by the worker, and an Attendant Interface Unit (AIU) stationed at the entrance to a confined space. The units are in constant communication through a wireless link. The ESU periodically determines if the worker is cognitively aware and, if not, notifies the AIU. Nomadics envisions a system that requires only a voice response or no worker response. The worker can also manually notify the AIU if necessary. The AIU notifies emergency personnel and identifies the location of the worker. The AIU raises an alarm if contact with the ESU is lost, the worker triggers an alarm, or the worker fails to pass a cognitive awareness test. The proposed system can significantly improve confined space inspections. For example, the system can collect for information gathered during an inspection. The gathered information can be reviewed by others either in real-time or post inspection. Such information could be audio commentary from the worker, still images, video, or other sensor data relating either to the confined space or to the worker. Nomadics will build on our extensive experience in sensor networks and wireless communications to develop the system.