GEO-VISION solutions help emergency responders to save lives

Published: 
02 February 2018
The GEO-VISION project increases the situational awareness of emergency services, helping them to save more lives ©GEO-VISION

The RAIDO and AGILE solutions developed by partners in the project GEO-VISION (GNSS-driven EO and Verifiable Image and Sensor Integration for mission-critical Operational Networks) increase the situational awareness of emergency services and allow first responders to check the integrity of the GNSS signals they receive, increasing the efficiency of the emergency response and helping to save more lives.

For emergency services operating in disaster zones, the ability to obtain and process critical information regarding the physical environment in which they are operating, and to quickly verify the integrity of positioning information that they receive, is of vital importance – allowing them to streamline their efforts and target their response. The RAIDO and AGILE solutions developed within the GEO-VISION project address these very requirements and have commercial applications that extend beyond the project.

Supporting mission-critical communications

The first commercial offer to be generated by the project is the RAIDO solution developed by Norwegian software developer AnsuR. RAIDO is a software system for mission-critical multimedia communications. The system consists of three separate products that work both individually and together. The ASIGN component is used to communicate visual content (photos and videos), which is then streamed over unknown, changing, and bandwidth-limited networks using the ASMIRA tool. Finally, the project’s AIR component is used to route ASIGN and ASMIRA data over various networks.

The optimised communication of visual content, adaptive streaming, smart network management, geo-tagging and mapping offered by RAIDO improves decision-makers’ situational awareness, allowing them to act faster and make better decisions. RAIDO products can be used for a range of stand-alone and integrated solutions. Within the GEO-VISION project, RAIDO will improve the efficiency of crisis and disaster management, but the solution can also be put to good use in other applications, such as photo and video surveillance and security, where better situational awareness can improve operations and cut costs.

“The opportunity of having a H2020 project with the GSA was instrumental for developing mission-critical solutions to provide visual geo-intelligence from ground and aerial cameras for users in crisis and emergency situations and in security operations. We consider the impact of the project to be very high, with global interest, several offers, first sales and the deployment already of unique technologies,” Project Coordinator Harald Skinnemoen said. “We are grateful for the active support of the GSA and their experts, which helped keep focus and momentum up, and we look forward to working with the GSA again in the future."

Checking GNSS integrity

Also developed within the GEO-VISION project, the AGILE solution developed by Italy’s Rina Consulting S.p.A. (formerly D’Appolonia) is a software tool that combines receiver post-correlation anti-jamming techniques with consistency cross-checks with the inertial measurement unit (IMU) on UAVs, to combat spoofing. The AGILE tool is designed as multi-thread application in which signal integrity is checked in two sub-threads.

The first of these - GNSS Spoofing Attack Detection (SAD) – stores the positioning information from the GNSS receiver and the IMU to allow a constant cross-check between the two tracks. The second thread - GNSS Jamming Attack Detection (JAD) - constantly monitors the GNSS receiver signal acquisition log to detect anomalies. Anomalies are flagged whenever parameter values exceed a set threshold for a pre-defined amount of time.

In addition to checking the GNSS signal integrity, the tool also sends notifications to personnel in the Operation Centre about the UAV location as well as a system status message to the pilot. Like the RAIDO solution, the AGILE tool can also be replicated in other applications sensitive to precise location information, such as the transportation of dangerous goods, for example.

Solutions being rolled out

The GEO-VISION project built on existing initiatives, proven concepts, and user requirements to offer a solution that can be used to manage the operational phases of disasters and emergencies, as well as conduct rapid damage assessments as a basis for insurance and cost estimates. Following the project’s completion in December 2016, GEO-VISION’s RAIDO solutions are already being rolled out and are improving the effectiveness of emergency situation management operations by various stakeholders, such as United Nations agencies, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism as well as European police forces and emergency management authorities.

GEO-VISION consolidates Europe’s position at the forefront of both integrated satellite solutions and support for emergency management. The project has made a significant contribution both to new operational procedures in disaster management and related space based technology, specifically with respect to in-situ data access and fusion with the Copernicus programme.

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Updated: Feb 09, 2018