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Sustainable Technologies Acceleration Research - Transportable Infrastructures for Development and Emergency Support


Information Sharing for Stabilization, Reconstruction, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

The TIDES project (formerly called Expedient Infrastructure for Transient Populations EITP) will identify, test, refine, and document sets of rapidly deployable, cheap, and environmentally friendly infrastructures (basic shelter, water, power, hygiene, communications, etc.). These sustainable infrastructures should be deployable quickly to meet human needs where available services are inadequate, such as in refugee camps or for disaster victims. It is a voluntary effort, with non-government, government, and diverse other participants, and in no way is an endorsement of any particular solution by the government. TIDES also will develop assembly instructions and operational procedures for these infrastructures. The goal is to share information to help organizations and individuals apply solutions effectively in real-world conditions. Collaborative, cross-domain methods and new technologies, along with whole systems thinking and engineering are encouraged.

STAR-TIDES at National Defense University

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A powerpoint presentation explaining much of the background of TIDES is available.

Photos from the demonstration are available at: http://metadata.solers.com. These pictures have been metadata tagged using the Defense Discovery Metadata Standard (DDMS). To see all pictures, enter TIDES. Try other search terms like "hexayurt," "cooking," Linda, etc.

Educational Focus

The project seeks to educate and train those who could use TIDES-like solutions for economic development and emergency response activities such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and refugee support. It also aims to inform interested members of the general public. TIDES is pursuing partnerships with educational institutions at the graduate, undergraduate and high school levels to encourage student involvement.

Activities of the Volunteer TIDES Teams

The TIDES project is building long-term, multi-sector, collaborative relationships among citizens, businesses, academia and government. The project welcomes broad participation, questions, and comments by interested parties. Several teams are forming, made up of individuals who want to make sustained contributions. The TIDES Teams will:

  1. Coordinate efforts to understand the needs of stressed populations in various situations
  2. Propose and communicate potential solution sets and approaches to meet these needs.
  3. Improve solutions sets and approaches through continuous process improvement techniques, demonstrations, field evaluations, experiments, and workshops.
  4. Develop educational tools (online and paper field manuals, training materials, draft policies and procedures) and a mentoring network, using open source development methods.

Updated information is available at http://www.appropedia.org/STAR-TIDES (the capitals are important)

Points of Contact

The initial points of contact for TIDES are:

  1. Lin Wells, wellsL3@ndu.edu, (202) 436-6354
  2. Lynn Crabb, American Red Cross
  3. Jim Craft, United States Marine Corps
  4. Vinay Gupta, Hexayurt Project, hexayurt@gmail.com, (775) 743-1851
  5. Tim Lo, lot@ndu.edu, (202) 685-3046


The first phase of the TIDES demonstration was held at the National Defense University (Oct 5-19):

Experiences thus far have reinforced three key lessons:

The week suggested many additional research topics. Cross-disciplinary, cultural and infrastructure skills will be particularly valuable. There are important policy issues, such as information sharing and how to get needed services in place faster. TIDES also offers strategic communication opportunities.

Following the demonstration, the TIDES network supported firefighting efforts in Southern California and linked operational commanders with early information about several new capabilities.

Near-term Plans

Drawing on these demonstrations and team interactions, the project will develop:

  1. Guiding principles and strategies for infrastructures for refugee and other stressed populations (to be compared with existing guidance from established agencies),
  2. An integrated and continuously improving set of best practices for such communities,
  3. Targeted training resources in various formats,
  4. A sustainable, collaborating community of practice,
  5. Best practices for moving information about field performance rapidly back to design teams and forward again as improved solutions.

Having completed the first pat of Phase I, the next steps in TIDES are to:

  1. Solidify the core teams and encourage more volunteers for follow-on activities.
  2. Revise the TIDES project charter.
  3. Identify education and training opportunities and enlist partners.
  4. Develop draft multi-format documentation of potential solution sets and operating procedures (a wiki is available to support collaborative editing and lessons learned at: STAR-TIDES Field Manual
  5. Develop test plans for future work.
  6. Document the group's efforts to facilitate training, extend the user base, and help other groups learn to operate in open source-style collaborative networks with diverse participants from a mixed team of institutions, individuals, companies and projects.
  7. Develop the policies, procedures, and logistic support chains to apply TIDES-like solutions to real world needs. Materials to help other groups learn



STAR-TIDES Field Manual

Media:TIDES BOARDS FIRST DRAFT SMALL.pdf - Display boards and pictures from the STAR-TIDES demonstration. A very useful starting point for understanding the systems on display and how they fit together.

STAR-TIDES Notes Awaiting Wikification - post text here that needs to be tidied and integrated.