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Emerging technology solutions for first responders highlighted at Urban OpEx 2022

This DHS-sponsored event aims to strengthen urban first response to evolving threats in day-to-day operations and during larger-scale emergency incidents


Representatives from Skydio demonstrate the functionality of their X2E 2D/3D aerial mapping technology for NYPD officers.

Photo/Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate

By Police1 Staff

NEW YORK – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) recently partnered with federal, state and local first responder agencies to test new and emerging technologies that address high-priority capability gaps.

Urban OpEx 2022 showcased seven technologies including:

“Operating environments and emergency response capability needs are always evolving and that makes innovation so important – for today, tomorrow, next year, and beyond,” Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology said. “First responders have to tackle evolving threats in their day-to-day operations and during larger-scale emergency incidents. Urban OpEx paves the way for innovation because we’re putting technology developers and first responders in the same room to understand what they need from one another.”

First responder evaluators assessed the viability of these technologies for urban search and rescue missions, post-disaster assessments, chemical detection at large events, anomaly and threat detection, perimeter surveillance, critical infrastructure inspections, transporting blood and medical supplies, and communicating in remote and degraded environments.

More than 150 participants attended the event from public safety agencies around the nation. Industry participants from Ghost Robotics, Parsons Corporation, Pendar Technologies, Persistent Systems, Skydio, TDCOMM and ZeroEyes participated under Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with DHS S&T.


Technology evaluation and acquisition leaders from New York metropolitan area first responder, emergency management and public transportation organizations conduct experiments with Pendar Technologies’ Pendar X10, a handheld chemical identification device, in a classroom at the New York City Fire Department’s training academy.

Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate

Information and feedback collected during Urban OpEx 2022 will be published in a series of technology reports in the DHS publications library. Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial first responders can access the reports to inform their decision-making and guide future technology investments.

Read the Urban OpEx 2022 Fact Sheet to learn more.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) mission is to enable effective, efficient and secure operations across all homeland security missions by applying scientific, engineering, analytic and innovative approaches to deliver timely solutions and support departmental acquisitions. Created by Congress in 2003, S&T conducts basic and applied research, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation activities relevant to support homeland security and first responder operations and protect critical infrastructure.