The Live-Lage Project – Live Situational Awareness
Rapid and accurate collection of live data relevant for situational awareness is enabling more efficient operations and their planning by first responders.
When an emergency call is received, every minute counts for the fire and rescue services. Time is the decisive factor. The more up-to-date and precise the information about the situation is, the more efficiently operations can be planned and carried out – and lives saved.
Driven by those requirements, the desire arose to develop an optical system (MACS) for fast, precise optical reconnaissance of large-scale damage and disaster situations that can be integrated into unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and provide this data in real-time. Giving emergency responders a crucial operational time advantage.
The Live-Lage project was born
DLR and the Duisburg Fire Department have tested a new method for real-time evaluation. Quantum-Systems Vector UAS is a key element to make this project a reality.
Live-Lage – Drone directs rescue forces in real time
The solution – Project LiveLage
Duisburg Fire Brigade is the first partner in Germany to test the system
The Duisburg fire brigade is taking on the role of an early adopter, testing and proving the system’s operational capability under real conditions. A Vector UAS will be used to carry the integrated MACS.
Particularly in the case of accident scenes that are difficult to reach from a traffic point of view, the overview of the situation gained in this way helps the emergency control team to coordinate the number of emergency forces, in addition to saving time through the image data transmitted via the real-time tactical mapping capabilities of the MACS.
Exercise scenario on the “Rhine Orange
The exercise under real-life conditions was organized by the Duisburg Fire Department with the support of the Waterways and Shipping Authority and the Air Safety Department of the Düsseldorf District Government. About 30 participants and a lot of heavy equipment were involved on land and water in Duisburg. The exercise area was set up around the “Rhine Orange” landmark – a sculpture marking the mouth of the Ruhr River into the Rhine at Rhine kilometer 780.
The response to a ship on fire with a person overboard was practiced. The realistic scenario triggered an alarm chain, which was supported during the exercise by the fire department UAV, type Vector of the manufacturer Quantum-Systems, with built-in DLR camera MACS-nano. This enabled aerial images of the incident to be transmitted in real time to the executives in the command vehicle (ELW 2) even before the first firefighters arrived. In the CommandX CX5 command support system from Eurocommand, the live map was built up fully automatically from MACS aerial images, analyzed and enriched with all information relevant to the operation. At the same time, the firefighters from fire station 5 and the fireboat from fire station 8 deployed and a few minutes later precisely reached the scene – the training ship west of the Rhine orange, which was heavily smoking due to smoke bombs.
A few hundred meters in a southeasterly direction, the “missing person” was identified in the water and quickly rescued by the divers of the multipurpose boat, which had also been deployed.
The enthusiasm of the executives in the ELW 2 about the smooth course of the exercise using the three core technologies MACS, Vector and CommandX was literally tangible. “The live mapping technologies were absolutely convincing and must be transferred to real operations as quickly as possible. This year, we will take the decisive step further and test the system as a beta tester in operations for a longer period of time,” says Oliver Tittmann, head of the Duisburg Fire Department.
The next steps
In the near future, selected system components from MACS will be included in the product portfolio of the company’s partners and will be available on the market.
The operation of the system should be as simple as possible in order to minimize the hurdles for the worldwide use of the system, on the one hand during the training of the system and on the other hand during the use of the system itself. Creating live georeferenced images that are automatically stitched and streamed live is a complicated task that should be implemented as simply as possible for the end user.
Worldwide partners for the use of the system are needed in order to gather experience values to develop the system to market maturity.
We are very satisfied with the result of the exercise on the Live Situation project. We have achieved our common goal of providing rescue forces and civil protection with live mapping in very high resolution. In close cooperation with the DLR Institute for Optical Sensor Systems, we were able to add this tactical capability to our Vector system – and offer our customers a decisive added value for their missions in the future.
In the Live Situation project, technologies are developed by DLR together with end users and industry partners so that systems function under mission-realistic conditions for real-time reconnaissance in damage and disaster situations. The exercise showed us what is possible in an emergency through cooperation and innovation.
It was impressive to see how the individual components, starting with our CommandX command support software, to the drone and the state-of-the-art camera from OPTSAL, to the state-of-the-art ELW2 of the Duisburg Fire Department, worked together and the entire operational situation was merged into a live situation picture in real time.
The live mapping technologies have been absolutely convincing and must be transferred to real use as quickly as possible. This year, we will take the decisive step further and test the system as a beta tester for a longer period of time.