The United States Parks Police road-tested a new geo-sensitive security system last week during the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The experimental Lockheed Martin DisOPS 'situational awareness system' helped the police share information and co-ordinate deployment of officers to manage the 2 million-strong crowd.

DisOPS is comprised of specially modified personal digital assistants and laptop computers that enable its users to wirelessly communicate intelligence, make grid-based distance calculations, share GPS co-ordinates, photograph items of interest and track other law enforcement units - all while silently co-ordinating their operations.

Already tested by the US military, the rugged laptops run DisOPS Connect software and locally-networked, personal digital assistants are equipped with DisOPS View software.

Geo-tagged baddies

Together, the devices enable multiple users over a wide area to instantaneously share information including data and photos with geospatially tagged co-ordinates.

"It's always gratifying to mature research to a level that allows us to test it operationally," said Gerard Mayer, Director of Lockheed Martin's Artificial Intelligence laboratory.

Lockheed Martin ATL originally developed DisOPS to enhance situational awareness, co-ordinated manoeuvring and friendly-force tracking for the dismounted soldier. They provided the test system to the Parks Police free of charge for the inauguration.