SASISA - Small Aircraft Service for Instant Situational Awareness

SASISA (Small-Aircraft Service for Instant Situational Awareness) promotes the user-driven introduction of an affordable, commercially viable near-real time airborne surveillance service for disaster response forces. It combines existing space and terrestrial technologies in a flexible, modular system and pursues an innovative business model of distributed service provision. It offers situational awareness information instantly and directly to the user's command and control centre during emergency operations using broadband SATCOM to provide operational use even when line-of-sight radio communication is not possible.
The system architecture that underpins the SASISA service includes small aircraft, digital remote sensing instruments with integrated GNSS/IMU position measurement units, onboard Ku band broadband satellite communication as well as terrestrial line-of-sight communications with a ground relay to broadband satellite links, and geo-information systems that are fed by earth observation data from airborne, space and ground sources and are interfaced with the users' operations command facilities. In the SASISA Feasibility Study, the new capacity demonstrated by SASISA has been identified by users as a required enabler of the security performance that is expected by European citizens in the event of large disasters. The integration of commercial space technologies in the system offers decisive improvements over
current practices in terms of timeliness, reach and quality of situational awareness information. The use of small multi-purpose piston-engine aircraft reduces capital investment and operating costs to a level that allows real-time airborne situational awareness to become a standard component of emergency management.
The objective of the Demonstration project is to create hands-on opportunities for winning acceptance and support among emergency and disaster management, and also display the systems capabilities to other interested public and private user communities for broad-based commercial sustainability of operations. Three week-long demo utilisation campaigns that bring the service to pre-operational practical use will be put into reality in 2014, based on pre-arranged scenarios that are integrated with regular disaster response exercises of participating user agencies. In addition, the system will be prepared to be called upon in actual emergencies during the demo utilisation phase.
The Demonstration Project continues the established cooperation with emergency forces of Styria and Lower Austria and adds the international assistance initiative

EPISECC - Establish Pan-European Information Space to Enhance seCurity of Citizens

In a disaster situation three things contribute to a success: having the right resource available in the shortest time, with the highest relevance and at the right location. Access to necessary information, communication with other rescuers and stakeholders as well as the coordinated availability of resources are key factors in minimizing damage and loss of life. Large scale disasters and crisis situations increase the requirements on man and material exponentially. Additional challenges, in particular in cross border events, include language barriers, knowhow and organizational barriers and technical barriers (communication and data exchange). To improve the collaboration in these situations new concepts like a common information space are necessary.

To be able to define a concept for a common information space it will be necessary to analyze three defining factors:

  1. Past responses to critical events and disasters in terms of time and cost
  2. The data and data management tools used by crisis managers and first responders
  3. The organisational structures of the crisis managers and first responders

A prerequisite for a successful pan European information space is the definition of a common taxonomy. The common information space, which implies an EU wide standardization activity, will widen the EU wide market for organisations developing solutions and tools for crisis management. The architecture of the common information space needs to address the protocol and network interoperability to provide the basics for communication. Based on the taxonomy developed, a concept for informational interoperability is driven. A common information space can only be used if the standard operation procedures (SOPs) are defined with interoperability in mind, and operational interoperability becomes a day to-day-job. In a use case based on an earthquake in the Southern Alps a proof of concept will show how the concept of the common information space will work and will help the interoperability of rescue services from different countries to work efficiently together.

GSTP - Improving data transmission in earth observation applications

HITEC Luxembourg S.A., the Luxembourg based engineering and technology company, has been selected by ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) for a project in the frame of the General Support Technology Programme (GSTP). ESA's GSTP programme intends to convert promising engineering concepts into a broad spectrum of mature solutions. The innovative project is focusing on the design of an S (2-4 GHz) / K-band (18-27 GHz) full motion ground station antenna with a 13 to 15 meter aperture for earth observation applications. The project led by HITEC Luxembourg includes a feasibility study as well as the final design. MIRAD Microwave AG, a Swiss company, is partner in the project. MIRAD cares for the RF-design of the antenna and the feed system.