Visual Awarness System for Emergency Response
Background & Objectives
Satellite navigation has become an emerging positioning source for a wide range of applications, many of which are going much further than the traditional transport sector, i.e. civil protection including emergency management which is addressed here. Practically all of the current applications rely on GPS signals, sometimes also exploiting regional or local augmentations for better accuracy. As applications also move into safety-critical or other areas where service reliability is of concern, users and service providers alike are becoming aware of the importance of service qualities and, ultimately, guarantees. As a first step, an integrity signal is ready to be provided with the EGNOS service. After the Galileo system deployment, full-scale service guarantees will be possible with Galileo on certain signals. Along with the performance evaluation, the potential for revenue-generation will be analysed.
VASER is addressing novel applications in the emergency management sector which can greatly improve the performance of users in the field. Thus, VASER will provide safety and security enhancements for emergency management. The ultimate objective is to have the proposed applications ready for operational exploitation in parallel with the introduction of the advanced European navigation satellite infrastructures (EGNOS and Galileo).
The targeted applications are in the area of safety critical personal mobility, like civil protection, police and security, and fire fighting. The feedback from the users was extremely positive and motivated the consortium to continue to invest in the improvement of the prototype and in the direction of commercial solutions based on the project outputs.
A quick assessment of the project activities is compiled below:
- six demonstrations;
- one television presentation;
- more than six appearances in news websites and magazines with global coverage;
- participation in international events (Seville, Torres Vedras, Madrid and Brussels);
- more than 1 000 emails generated;
- project website and promotional material;
- one nomination for an international award 2007 Telematics Awards for the Best Portable Navigation System.
DigiUtopikA Lda. has been presented with an Innovation and Technology award given by the Portuguese President of the Republic for their involvement and development work in projects like VASER.
The main goal of the VASER project is to provide a solution to be used by users in the field of disaster management activities. The VASER consortium proposes a system that brings together EGNOS/Galileo navigation technologies and the most advanced visualisation technologies to support the tasks performed in a disaster mission control centre.
These tasks include the provision of important information to the teams in the field regarding their location, those of surrounding teams, dangers and victims, and support means. The architecture of VASER serves the location-sensitive information exchange. The architecture relies on the integration of four elements: navigation, communication, GIS and multimedia.
Work performed & results
Six demonstration campaigns were successfully performed to test the VASER system and to present it to the public. The VASER mission centre (VMC) software provided a 3D model of four different scenarios. The user communities welcomed the concept of visualisation of the scenario in the service centre. They also agreed to exchange information with the mobile units, but depending on the application, different information will be exchanged. Several enhancements for the VMC software and hardware have been identified. The position accuracy is satisfactory, although there are a number of effects which should be taken into account during future developments. The VASER architecture proved to be feasible for security relevant applications. The concept of visualisation in the service centre was followed by the user community with interest and the capabilities of a pedestrian navigation prototype acknowledged.