The Europe population experiences yearly about 2 million to 2.5 million fires with 20 to 25 thousand deaths and 250 to 500 thousand reported injuries. Moreover, EUFireAcademy states European countries suffered 558 fatalities per million inhabitants due to fire hazards during the year 2010.
Even though satellite-based positioning technology allows rescue workers to already operate efficiently, GPS availability, reliability, and accuracy are often poor during fire operations, for example due to thick smoke, dense forests, rough terrain
and inside buildings.
In this context, the objective of AIOSAT (Autonomous Indoor & Outdoor Safety Tracking System) is to progress beyond the state of the art by defining the AIOSAT concept that aims to overcome aforementioned limitations of GNSS usage in rescue interventions. For this purpose, GNSS positions are enhanced with EGNOS and fused with position information inferred from IMU and RF.
The main paths to the goal will be to define 1) the end-user requirements for the AIOSAT system, 2) the Advanced Positioning Subsystem 3) the Communications Subsystem 4) the tracking and alerting (TA) application and, 5) build an integrated prototype system validated during field tests.
The dissemination and use of the project outcomes are the ultimate objective. Therefore, in order to use and spread the knowledge acquired, a set of concrete, quantitative and customized activities is planned.
The main strengths of the AIOSAT consortium are threefold.1) It is composed of world class organizations with extensive and successful prior experience in the research topics related to the technologies employed. 2) The consortium involves two end-users, a technology provider, a university, a university-level military academy and two SMEs aiming at exploiting the project results as subsystem integrator’s, software and service providers. And 3), last but not least, the small consortium size avoids inefficiencies and work overhead typical for larger projects.
The AIOSAT system will allow the team/brigade commander to track the location, including a confidence margin on the location, answering a necessity of the emergency services, and therefore the team commander will handle the information required for the success of the operation and to avoid any fatalities.
The AIOSAT system architecture is based on two major components (Figure 1):
Portable system (First Responder): equipped with the AIOSAT advanced positioning system and AIOSAT communication system. The functions of this portable system will be:
- Continuously transmit the position of the first responders. o Allow data communication of the team commander with the firefighters and the Mobile Coordination Centre (MCC) to exchange commands and alerts related to generic mission operations and in particular to prevent rescue workers from entering dangerous locations.
- Firefighters only receive the different sound alerts having not any interaction with the system, brigades and MCC will take advantage of the added value information that AIOSAT provides ensuring also the safety of their dependents.
- Receive required information from the Mobile Coordination Centre (MCC) for positioning augmentation enhancing accuracy (differential correction data on the pseudo ranges) and integrity monitoring techniques, such as different Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) for example eRAIM and ARAIM, mandatory for safety related applications.
Mobile Coordination Centre – MCC: the mobile unit (truck) will be equipped with the AIOSAT positioning system, AIOSAT communication system and AIOSAT TA system. The functions of this mobile coordination centre will be:
- Continuously receive the position of the First Responder cluster (see Figure 1) and track the rescue workers.
- Setup a system to retrieve realtime differential GNSS corrections. The proposed alternative is the use of EGNOS, however to increase the availability of the corrections in harsh environments where EGNOS is not available, NTRIP client (Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol), such as EDAS is also considered to obtain the differential GNSS corrections.
- Transmit the differential GNSS corrections and integrity over the AIOSAT communication systemTransmit required orders to prevent rescue workers from entering irreversible risky locations (alarms).
- Interface with existing on-board systems and external networks (via SATCOM) to access relevant information needed for the mission, e.g. outdoor and indoor maps.
- Overall management and monitoring of the AIOSAT network and devices.
Autonomous Indoor/Outdoor Safety Tracking System
Start date: 01/12/2017
Duration: 30 months
Results incorporated in this standard received funding from the European GNSS Agency under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776425.