Objectives of the service
The purpose of the project is to develop new integrated operational services using existing space assets to support a federation of users within the UK civil contingencies community. The Feasibility Study will involve an in-depth analysis of user requirements and propose integrated solutions including space asset requirements, application architecture and business models. The underlying analysis of user requirements will include a detailed analysis of the current capabilities, gaps and user requirements for space systems.
The objectives of the Feasibility Study are:
- to define the information requirements for emergency response;
- to assess the current use of terrestrial and space (Earth Observation, satellite navigation, satellite communications) systems;
- to identify gaps in current systems with respect to user needs;
- to confirm priority applications based on user requirements analysis;
- to address issues of integration between space assets and terrestrial systems or between user groups;
- to design the technical architecture (including Earth Observation, satellite navigation and satellite communications) for solutions proposed for the priority applications; and,
- to determine the necessary investment and running costs.
Users and their needs
The project involves users across the UK Civil Resilience community at the national, regional and local levels. The Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Cabinet Office is the "backbone" user and is facilitating their involvement.
Service/ system concept
The service is expected to support UK emergency response practitioners with additional geospatial information that can be used for situation reporting and advising on asset deployment. The service will also be delivered using communications systems with added resilience.
Space Added Value
The added-value of the project stems from the delivery of a joined-up set of services for the UK Civil Resilience Community. These services will be integrated in terms of both the space assets and shared/compatible systems across multiple user groups. The result will be to better exploit space assets for delivery of services tailored to UK scenarios for the first time. More specifically, the expected added-value brought to the users through these solutions includes,
- Improved information content for situational awareness during emergencies.
- Improved timeliness, completeness, consistency and relevance of spatial data resources for responders and the public.
- Improved functionality of existing systems (e.g. NRE).
- Better exploitation of relevant programs such as GMES and the International Charter.
- Improved delivery of emergency management information to responders and to the public using satellite communications and navigation.
- More reliable access to information (including EO data) through satellite communications and navigation.
- More effective procurement for user groups through a coordinated approach for national and regional efforts to access space services.
- A visible point of contact for the resilience community to make requests for support and provide input for UK requirements and positions on space programs under development.
- Improved dissemination of information about the capabilities and opportunities for the resilience community to exploit space assets.
- A model for sustainability of the service as well as opportunities to easily integrate future EO, satellite communications and navigation systems into the solutions.
- A technical architecture that will meet the users requirements, is technically viable, and can be integrated with current operational procedures and equipment available for UK civil resilience.
The Feasibility Study is complete and is likely to go to a Phase 2 Demonstration with support of CCS. Plans for the demonstration include testing the service in national and local level exercises.