The objective of project INFRA is to research and develop novel technologies for personal digital support systems as part of an integral, secure emergency management system to support First Responders (FR) in crises occurring in Critical Infrastructures (CI) under all circumstances. Project INFRA will focus on innovation at 2 levels:
A. Create an open, standards based interoperability layer that will allow:
• Broadband access for high bandwidth applications (i.e. live video)
• Autonomous wireless broadband in underground tunnels and concrete buildings – a severe problem in CI sites such as Subway tunnels, targeted by terrorists.
• Full voice and data communication interoperability between all FR teams, their command posts and the CI site control centre
• Full interoperability of FR applications in use by the FR teams
B. Provide practical and useful novel applications for FR teams, all integrated within the open interoperability layer:
• Thermal imaging applications
• Video annotation
• Advanced fibre optic sensors
• Indoor navigation system.
Both the communications interoperability layer and the FR applications in INFRA are novel and go well beyond the current state of the art for the technology currently in use by FR teams. Although the FR forces are quite fragmented and localised, achieving standardization on the issue of broadband applications for FR is of importance to all Europe, as it will allow significant cost reduction of FR equipment and cross region and cross border cooperation between FR units. In a similar manner, there is no standardization of CI sites. So FR teams cannot rely on a standardised environment that is common to all CI sites. This situation is quite typical in Europe and globally. Project INFRA will provide a major step towards a standard, seamless, effective and efficient FR environment, which will ensure interoperability with the CI control centre, will save lives and reduce the financial damages of catastrophic events in CI sites.
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