Objectives of the service
Based on a current platform called ASIGN, listed as one of United Nations Information Management tools for disasters, and in use by Oslo Police for security, B-SURE will develop user-driven functional capabilities and technical solutions for providing commercial services for target markets. The B-SURE project is supported by the UN, who will be acting as a developing partner, reference user and possible future client.
The main objective of B-SURE is to reduce disaster management response time, cost and risk.
The main B-SURE service is rapid collection and bandwidth efficient secure communication of operationally relevant field information. The baseline field platform is a smartphone, while information managers access data and interact with the field users via Web browsers online on secure servers. The field users cover professionals, civil population and small UAV operators.
The B-SURE service forms a unique basis for a rapidly updated visual situational awareness service with photos and video and associated data sources. The project includes flexible service and delivery models, supporting both partner and direct sales.
Users and their needs
During critical situations related to disaster and crisis management, time is generally considered the most critical factor: time to collect relevant data, communicate it, assess it, decide actions and time to conduct them. Visual data, photos and video, as well as UAV and satellite images are required for providing visual situational awareness.
One of the main constraints in any area affected by a crisis is the lack of broadband communications, as networks are potentially affected by the disaster. B-SURE can let users prioritize bandwidth on videos/photos that provide relevant effect over those that don’t. This enables faster decision times, more relevant data and less operational cost. In summary, B-SURE significantly mitigates this burning problem of the users: “Providing fast communication services via a visual-situational awareness tool based on high-definition videos/image content, fused with Earth Observation data/maps over low bandwidth and mobile satcom connectivity”.
The targeted users are disaster managers in the UN domain and civil protection, as well as UAV operators, satcom users and security related users. Specific users involved in the project are UN (UNOSAT) and ASEAN (AHA Centre).
Their needs include:
|Data collection||Fusion / integration||Feedback|
Service/ system concept
B-SURE will provide an innovative solution based of photos/images and video collected from the field to:
- Improve visual situational awareness via better collection and communication of relevant photos and video content from the field.
- Improve the relevance and effect of collected data, as the bandwidth savings also saves time to transfer data.
- Improve training of professional in the field (this includes pilots of UAVs) about how to best acquire useful photo/videos in the field.
- Support remote pilots of UAVs to be more effective to collect useful photos and videos.
- Embed the useful data from Videos/Photos and Earth Observation in overlaying pictures/maps generated as well with the support of EO data
- Finally, provide access to the visual situational awareness tool via a web-based service accessible to users via smartphones and PCs connected to Internet.
Figure 1: Basic Block Diagram of the operational functions of B-SURE.
Figure 2: Software solutions and data flow
Photos and videos can be communicated through the ASIGN and DroneSAR apps into ASIGN Online, or directly into the GIS platforms from iGeotec and UNOSAT. Additional layers can be added to the GIS map, like earth observation data, weather and other layers.
Space Added Value
The following space asset(s) are used in the pilot-demonstration:
• GNSS – Satellite Navigation
• Satellite Earth Observations & Copernicus data
• Mobile / portable Satellite Communication (BGAN)
GNSS is essential due to the need for accurate positioning, and reliable location data. Geo-intelligence and geo-spatial images and observation are essential for knowing where things happen and for fusion with Satellite EO. Galileo will specifically be useful for altitude control of UAVs, due to better vertical precision.
Satellite EO is a basis for the UNOSAT work on rapid mapping, used broadly for crisis and disaster management for space based situational awareness. The Copernicus satellites, and in particular Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 are used, in combination with other commercial services such as Digital Globe and Planet.
Satellite communication is required for disaster management when other networks are down, when out of coverage, or when security demands to not use local networks that can be intercepted.
Figure 4: Simple concept of the edge domain (field), Network Domain and Cloud Domains.
Figure 4 shows a network diagram indicating where the different users and software modules are used and networks used to communicate between them.
The project is finalising the CDR, detailing the system and service architecture and finalising the system requirements based on the user needs from BDR, and will now start working towards the FAT.
Ongoing discussions with the AHA Centre in Jakarta for preparations of the pilot demonstrations.