A team of private companies and a United States intelligence agency are testing the use of an open cloud computing infrastructure for simulating a multi-national disaster response effort to improve the ability to rapidly collaborate in a cloud environment, according to the organization leading the industry portion of the effort.

Using unclassified information from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), the industry partners have created the simulation, which depicts a global, multidisciplinary response similar to the one that took place after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) said on Tuesday. NCOIC said the “effort is designed to confirm interoperability and show how different technologies and data sources from a variety of organizations can support a unified mission."

NCOIC is an international organization working to accelerate the global implementation of network centric interoperability across government, industry and commercial operations.

NCOIC Logo

The NCOIC member companies participating in the simulation are The Aerospace Group, Boeing [BA], NJVC, Raytheon [RTN], Telos and Winthrop Management Services, LLC. The companies are providing various technical applications and services that an international disaster response force could use within a cloud computing environment to move critical geospatial data and they are also serving as actors within the simulation, representing various teams of military, government and civilian personnel from different countries.

NJVCC said that it is providing its Cloudcuity platform-as-a-service capability to integrate various applications to support the needs of a diverse set of international first responders into a common complex humanitarian disaster management operating environment.

“Each country in the simulation has its own, unique communications sensitivities so an important measure of the success of our environment will be the ability to work within those requirements and protect their data,” Tip Slater, director of Business Development for NCOIC, said in a statement.

The three-month test began in June and will conclude later this summer with a demonstration and report to NGA.