Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting Rescue Workers Deployed In A Catastrophe

Date:
May 10, 2009
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
How can we better protect rescue workers when they are deployed in a catastrophe -- or find avalanche victims more efficiently? Researchers are currently working on a localization solution that combines satellite-based positioning with terrestrial guidance tools and situation-based sensor systems (such as integrated toxic gas sensors).

How can we better protect rescue workers when they are deployed in a catastrophe - or find avalanche victims more efficiently? Fraunhofer researchers are currently working on a localization solution that combines satellite-based positioning with terrestrial guidance tools and situation-based sensor systems (such as integrated toxic gas sensors). The new system is intended to improve the coordination of deployed rescue professionals in the event of catastrophe, while ensuring their own safety at the same time.

When handling an emergency, firefighters are exposed to a number of risks: noxious fumes, blocked escape paths, potential building collapse. The safety of emergency crews and the efficient locating of persons buried under the rubble are key issues, and not only in the event of a major catastrophe, such as the collapse of the Cologne Historic Archives on March 3, 2009. Emergency managers have to know exactly where their teams are, and if they might be exposed to poisonous gases. Modern localization systems provide excellent service in this situation. It is also the only optimal way to integrate rescue teams into emergency planning.

By contrast, ineffective control station management, communication gaps and inadequate coordination of response strategies impair most extraordinarily time-critical rescue work. For this reason, experts today are pursuing the positioning of rescue teams and needed rescue supplies and equipment with the aid of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), which, in addition to GPS, also include Europe's Galileo and Russia's GLONASS. Fraunhofer scientists have established a Galileo lab for developing the new GNSS-based localization technologies. At the transport logistics trade show in Munich from May 12 to 15, scientists will present the results of their investigations at the Fraunhofer joint exhibition stand.

For their endeavors, researchers are using the Galileo satellite navigation system which - unlike GPS - is a civilian-controlled system. Absent military control, it is easier to implement special services for civil applications, such as rescue operations. Examples of this include "Search and Rescue" or "Safety of Life". At the Fraunhofer Galileo Lab, experts are working assiduously to provide services that localize individuals or goods in industry and the economy, transportation and mobility. With this goal in mind, scientists from nine Fraunhofer Institutes and the Fraunhofer Transport and Traffic Alliance have bundled their expertise. Currently, the researchers are concentrating on five fields of application: travel assistance, logistics,environmental applications such as emission monitoring, infrastructure construction and safety.

“If you analyze different target groups, such as logistics, travel assistance, environmental monitoring or security services, it quickly becomes evident that the tasks are similar in terms of system architecture. Similar structures and content are always needed on similar end devices. For example, data indicating where an individual is located; sensors that deliver specific values such as toxic gas concentrations; or end devices that function as clients. Our objective is to offer a universal, service-oriented software architecture that works as a building-block system to allow configurable application profiles,” explains project manager Werner Schönewolf of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK in Berlin.

Take travel assistance for instance. When train passengers change trains at the station, a cell phone or PDA may soon be guiding them to the right connecting train without the passengers actually having to operate the devices. “This is possible through the context recognition in the end device. We connect the train schedule data with the positioning, so people can navigate themselves safely to the train, even in a labyrinthine train station," explains Schönewolf. “In catastrophic events, we connect sites with toxic gas sensors, and then can detect danger early on.”

The experts not only use Galileo data, but are also testing combined receivers for various satellite systems, since more precise navigation and ultimately better positioning - whether in the city or the wilderness - can be achieved with the collective total of all satellites in the skies. “We’re developing our GNSS platform from the collective data gathered from GPS, GLONASS - the Russian satellite network – and Galileo,” says Schönewolf. With data from 70 satellites in the sky, people and goods can be located much more precisely than ever before - even in deep canyons of urban areas, which were a challenge until now".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Protecting Rescue Workers Deployed In A Catastrophe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507101826.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2009, May 10). Protecting Rescue Workers Deployed In A Catastrophe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507101826.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Protecting Rescue Workers Deployed In A Catastrophe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507101826.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins