BRIDGE Conducts Alpine ValEDation Days in Salzburg, Austria

14 Sep 2014


We are pleased to report that BRIDGE has successfully conducted Alpine ValEDation Days, the first in the series of three events organised by Validation, Exploitation and Dissemination Work Packages in autumn 2014. These events are intended to demonstrate solutions for large-scale crisis management and bring them closer to the user.


The validation part of the Alpine ValEDation Days was conducted on 9 September 2014 in St. Gilgen, Austria, in cooperation with the volunteer fire service of St. Gilgen/Löschzug Winkl and the local police. Two BRIDGE systems – Advanced Situation Awareness (ASA) and Help Beacons – were demonstrated and validated during the exercise organised by the Winkl fire service, which simulated a car accident with a subsequent fire and an explosion. Four volunteers acted as victims in this hypothetical scenario that had been pre-tested in August 2014.


The Hexacopter, component of the ASA system developed by Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS), flew into the Hot Zone, filmed the incident site from above, and transmitted live video- and infrared images to the Incident Commander, together with the data on gas and particle measurements of the toxic plume. This information was used in the second ASA component, the Expert System software, which compares the measurement data with national limits and international recommended concentration values. These data were then used for the third ASA component, the Modelling Module. This module modeled the dispersion of the plume and forecasted the atmospheric concentration in the potentially affected area on a digital map. This represented the basis for recommendations to the Incident Commander on safety issues concerning both, the first responders on scene (e.g., type of protective equipment needed) and the public living downwind from incident site (e.g., sheltering or evacuation). 


Complementary to ASA, the Help Beacons system, co-developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (Fraunhofer FIT) and Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt, was deployed during the exercise. Four persons acting as “victims” broadcasted distress signals by the use of the Help Beacons victim application. Two victims were already found with the help of the infrared camera on the hexacopter, and the remaining two that were out of sight of the hexacopter were then found by the Help Beacons responder application. In particular, the responder in the field and the incident commander leveraged the Help Beacons system in addition to their existing radio communication to better fulfil their mission.


The Exploitation and Dissemination event was hosted by PLUS in Salzburg, Austria, on 12 September 2014. Members of the BRIDGE consortium presented ASA and Help Beacons systems to the invited stakeholders, showed a video of the validation test in St. Gilgen, and demonstrated live transmission of video and infrared data from the PLUS hexacopter flying outside the university building into the meeting room. The participants were also given an opportunity to have a closer look at the hexacopter and the Help Beacons applications on the smartphones.


To watch a video of the validation field test in St. Gilgen, please visit the BRIDGE Project Channel on the Youtube.



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