ESA title

Satellites to Strengthen UK Disaster Response

An IAP feasibility study has been recently started on '€˜Integrating Space Assets for UK Civil Resilience'€™. The study aims at defining a space-based service for UK civil emergencies. The UK civil resilience community is tasked with responding to and recovering from UK disasters and emergencies. The study’s main focus will be flood scenarios due to the serious flooding in summer 2007 which cost the UK an estimated £3 billion, with more than 55,000 homes and businesses inundated, and hundreds of thousands of homes losing power or water. 

Starting with an assessment of the user requirements, the goal is to design an integrated, easily-operable system. This will be a bespoke tool to be made available to emergency responders and decision makers. The system's final shape will be determined based on the user requirements, and it will give responders strong situational awareness using various services in combination, such as:

  • Rapid mapping of affected areas using satellite imagery.
  • Improved resilience of communication networks using satellite communications.
  • Enhanced traffic management for evacuations and other activities.
  • Coordinated intelligence for asset management, with everything from ambulances and trucks to flood barriers tagged with GPS. 

In March 2011 the government will carry out a National Flood Event exercise to test national flood preparedness. 
It is being coordinated from the national ‘COBRA' level down to local authorities. In an exciting opportunity, the project team has been invited to observe the event then debrief the exercise ‘players' outlining how existing space assets could have been used during the exercise.

The project is being run by a consortium of five organisations: DMCii takes the lead role, with Infoterra Ltd supporting the Earth observation components, Avanti Communications the satellite communications role, Nottingham Scientific Ltd working on satellite navigation and the British Geological Survey providing additional expertise on geohazards.
For more information please visit the dedicated project web page.

17 September 2010
Last updated at 27 February 2014 - 15:41