IT tools aid in the Columbia investigation

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which is probing the Feb. 1 shuttle crash, is making use of several new systems to help it pinpoint the cause of the mishap, its leadership said. Board chairman Hal Gehman said at a press conference that 'we have launched seven different products,' which he declined to name.

'We have a debris database to plot where debris has [landed],' Gehman said. The board also is using groupware to assist it with making joint decisions, he said.

'We have an investigatory management piece of software to make sure we don't overlook anything,' Gehman said. The board also has a document archive system to keep track of records that will become public record, and be available to Congress and other concerned agencies.

That system will allow searches and analysis, Gehman said. He added that the board might supplement its existing IT resources with additional systems in the future.

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