FAST - First responders Applications Satellite Technology

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Objectives of the service

The objective of the study is to identify and define applications based on highly innovative Satellite Communication systems that can improve the efficiency, the quality and the safety of Public Safety operations in Europe. The study focuses on three Public Safety verticals: Law Enforcement, Fire Brigades and Emergency Services.

Over the recent years this sector has been disrupted by several macro trends including:

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The adoption of UAVs for Public Safety operations will allow to efficiently monitor large areas concerned by an emergency 
  • Internet of Things: allowing to collect an unprecedented amount of information and to optimize the operations
  • Wearables: Miniaturized wearables technologies enable to monitor and safeguard the health of safety officers as well as to automatically collect data from the operations
  • Broadband Communication Systems: Transition from narrow band legacy systems to broadband communication for Public safety operations 
  • Analytics and data science: The large amount of data gathered enables advanced intelligence analysis for emergency prevention and intervention
  • Robots: Remote piloted robots will replace human intervention in dangerous situations 

In this context, the purpose of this study is to identify and assess, in collaboration with users and stakeholders, new applications which may benefit most from enhanced SatCom solutions.

Users and their needs

The study plans to involve a large panel of stakeholders including:

  • Law Enforcement: Individuals and agencies responsible for enforcing laws, maintaining public order and Public Safety
  • Fire Brigades: Organizations that provide firefighting services and technical rescue in urban and extra urban areas
  • Emergency Services: Public organizations that have the role to restore safety in distressed areas and provide medical rescue
  • Satellite service providers and others value chain actors: Different technical requirements will be needed by new applications. Satellite service providers, and other value chain players will support the outlining of the technical needs to address, and the development of new Satcom applications.

Service/ system concept

The following preliminary set of innovative applications has been identified as the most relevant for further investigation as part of this study:

  • Connected vehicles: Smart connected vehicles enabling fleet management and optimized routing during interventions based on hybrid connectivity (cellular, satellite)
  • On demand monitoring of impacted areas based on UAV: Autonomous BVLOS UAVs can be adopted for prevention, monitoring and intervention activities in remote areas or hazard situations 
  • On field broadband connectivity: Vehicles (Cell of Light Trucks) or drones (Flying Cell of Wings) capable to restore broadband connectivity and portable devices capable to provide broadband connectivity to nearby devices

Space Added Value

Satcom assets plays a pivotal role in Public Safety verticals. Few examples of the benefits that satellite communication assets bring are:

  • Homogeneous coverage even in remote or distressed areas   
  • High level of security of the information exchanged
  • High availability, reliability and resilience of the communication link
  • Ease and speed of deployment in case of necessity

Current Status

The feasibility study has now been successfully completed. The following activities have been performed:

  • Conducted working sessions with 11 stakeholders across the Public Safety Sector and the Satellite industry and collected 10 responses to the survey carried out in collaboration with PSCE (Public Safety Communication Europe)
  • Identification and selection of the most attractive and relevant SatCom applications in the Public Safety Sector
  • Definition of the end-to-end architecture of the selected applications as well as identification of the major technical risks and development areas
  • Identification of the applications SatCom service requirements and assessment of their suitability with current and future satellite systems performances
  • Execution of a cost-benefit analysis for each SatCom application 
  • Outlining of the main roadblocks and recommended development roadmap 
  • As a result of the study, several end users across the Public Safety Sector have demonstrated their interest in the assessed applications and in the participation to future demonstrators

Status Date

Updated: 13 August 2021 - Created: 13 August 2021