Service of Coordinated Operational emergency and Rescue using EGNOS
Background & Objectives
Europe has been offering global navigation satellite systems since the availability of EGNOS, paving the way for improved location-based services. In parallel, the emergency handling encounters a new improvement phase. After the establishment of a unique 112 emergency number 15 years ago, the EU asked the telecom operators in 2003 to provide the location of the emergency call. This recommendation should cope with both the growing number of emergency calls (more than several million) that suffered from lack of wrong or inaccurate localisation information as well as multiple calls referring to the same accident or disaster. As emergency services concern safety of life, the user community requires a very good location performance, not only in terms of location accuracy but also in terms of integrity (i.e. service guarantee) and availability. Such requirements can only be reached with the help of EGNOS and soon Galileo, providing real-time integrity, together with other techniques offering better availability, accuracy and latency. GPS or ground techniques based on GSM-cell triangulation, which are less accurate, and differential GPS, which requires costly ground reference stations and doesn't work properly in indoor and in urban environments, will soon be dispensed with.
In the context of GNSS and E112, SCORE developed an E112 service, which boosts the growth of other LBS using EGNOS and Galileo. It consists of user assistance during emergency calls (automatic location) and support to operations coordination thanks to the supervision and guidance of the teams (civil protection, fire brigades, medical services, etc.).
The project activities were divided into two phases:
Phase A, during the first six months, covered:
- analysis of user needs, application definition and service differentiators;
- current solutions for the application, analysis of the service provision value-chain;
- preliminary design of the system architecture and its constituent elements;
- definition and preliminary design of the service prototype;
- steps towards the operational introduction of the application in a commercial and/or regulated context.
Phase B, for the remainder of the project time, covered:
- detailed design of the service prototype architecture;
- implementation of the service prototype architecture, including the systems development or procurement, integration and system validation;
- definition of operations for the service prototype and refinement of the exploitation plan;
- operation of the service prototype, trials and test campaign;
- analysis of the results and dissemination.
SCORE aimed to bring the following items to reality:
- an end-to-end solution, with applications dedicated to the selected test case;
- a universal and easily customisable system with hardware and software ready to be widely re-used for other services;
- demonstrating the relevance of LBS services using EGNOS and Galileo when compared with other solutions. (Cell-ID location, GPS, etc.);
- involving the industrial partners, assessing that the service provision value chain is well identified and provides proven benefits for all the actors.
Work performed & results
This competitive research and development project developed a prototype and validated its results during a field trial in Portugal. It has been operated by SNBPC (National Service for Civil Protection and Fire) in both rural and urban environments. The user scenario focuses on the highly accurate localisation of citizens calling from a mobile phone equipped with enhanced A-GPS (i.e. assisted-GPS improved by EGNOS). The results from the project were: - an end to end solution, with applications dedicated to the selected test case; - a universal and easily customisable system, with hardware and software ready to be widely re-used for other services; - a demonstration of the relevance of LBS services using EGNOS and Galileo when compared with other solutions. (cell-ID location, GPS, etc.); - involving the industrial partners, and assessing that the service provision value chain is well identified with proven benefits for all actors; - disseminating E112 accurate solutions using EA-GPS are technically feasible and as a consequence must be implemented as soon as possible by telecom operators and be used by PSAP (Public Safety Answering Points) according to European directives.