TT-GSAT - Test- and Trial-Centre for Geoinformation- and Satellite based Rescue & Emergency Services (TT-GSAT)

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Georeferenced, real-time information has become an essential part of any emergency management system. For this reason, it is of central importance how this information is collected, communicated, analysed and visualized during the preparation and execution of emergency events. Incorrect, delayed, incomplete and outdated information leads to wrong decisions and can endanger lives.

In close cooperation with rescue and emergency organisations, other public authorities and stakeholders from industry, a concept for a "Centre for testing and trial of satellite-based services for rescue and emergency organisations" was developed, which now will be implemented in a demonstrator project.

The demonstrator aims to map the following four services:

  • Scoping: Requirements analysis and proof of feasibility,
  • Testing: practical test support of concrete solutions in the implementation phase,
  • Training: Training on technological trends and their practical application and
  • Operational Support: Provisioning of equipment and personnel.

The topic areas TT-GSAT aims to cover are:

  • Multimedia communication between operational forces,
  • Ad-hoc aerial image processing,
  • Secure localization & navigation and
  • Situation presentation, decision support and operational management.

TT-GSAT intends to achieve better networking between all participating organisations in order to support user-oriented development and enable emergency forces to apply new and innovative satellite-based technologies as quickly as possible.

Users and their needs

TT-GSAT is involving different stakeholders, end-user communities and primary end-users in the following categories:

  • Emergency services
  • Fire departments
  • Police authorities
  • Disaster protection
  • Other public authorities and politics
  • Industry and service providers
  • Public and private institutes & innovation / competence centres

Main user requirements:

  • Usage of ad hoc (broadband) communication
  • Interoperability between different components and systems (open standards)
  • Usage of drones (sensors, pictures, videos, transportation)
  • Navigation and localisation (new: indoor navigation)
  • Ad-hoc aerial images
  • High availability: fall-back levels, redundancy, autonomous operation

Main challenges:

  • Defining user and system requirements that are as universally valid as possible
  • Design of a system architecture that is as universally valid as possible
  • Management of a large number of different, more or less independent organisations with different processes and business culture

Since the three project partners all come from the federal state of Bavaria in southern Germany, the majority of the participants for this first phase are therefore located in Bavaria, Austria and northern Italy. However, this is only the beginning; TT-GSAT is a Europe-wide project.

Service/ system concept

The aim of TT-GSAT is to offer a test and trial environment for emergency personnel and industry where it is possible to touch, try out and play with real building blocks in order to creatively find and implement new solutions. TT-GSAT wants to provide the following benefits for its users:

  • Minimized implementation risks and quality assurance through cost-effective testing of integrated solutions
  • Integrated, holistic solution approaches instead of partial solution approaches
  • Reducing the time from requirement to implementation
  • "Testing" of solutions in operational situations
  • Assessment of the impact of future communication and information requirements
  • Contributing to the design of new solutions through early impulses to industry
  • Integration and Interoperability of multimedia deployment communications

To achieve this, TT-GSAT will consist of the following building blocks:

  • TT-GSAT field components like a field laptop with selected TT-GSAT centre functionality, smartphones, tablets, drones, robotics, video cameras, high solution earth observation cameras, sensors, GNSS jammers, GNSS spoofers, GNSS signal generators
  • TT-GSAT centre with central hard and software components and gateways
  • WAN and LAN communication links (WLAN, fixed IP networks, LTE and 5G mobile radio communication networks, satellite communication networks)

These building blocks can be individually combined with each other in order to try out and test the interaction of different equipment in different deployment scenarios. With the building blocks provided, it is possible to cover the four subject areas envisaged in TT-GSAT:

  • Multimedia communication between operational forces,
  • Ad-hoc aerial image processing,
  • Secure localization & navigation and
  • Situation presentation, decision support and operational management.

Examples of scenarios are:

  • Testing the behaviour of different Galileo receivers during jamming attacks
  • Data transmission of sensor data via a local ad-hoc radio network to a local server connected to a central server via satellite or a mobile radio network
  • Ad-hoc processing of geodata recorded locally with drones, enriched with current aerial photographs from Earth observation satellites
  • Representing a situation image in 3D using Virtual Reality
  • Automatic evaluation of aerial photographs obtained by means of artificial intelligence
  • Support by the TT-GSAT team with selected innovative services for planned missions like events, fairs, concerts, etc. 

Space Added Value

The Test- and Trial-Centre for Geoinformation- and Satellite-based Rescue & Emergency Services (TT-GSAT) employs three space assets:

  • Satellite communication systems in combination with terrestrial communication systems like professional radio networks, commercial radio networks, terrestrial fibre networks for unreached availability in mission areas where the communication infrastructure is not available, overloaded or destroyed. What is more, local stand-alone ad-hoc networks can be connected with satellite network systems.
  • Satellite navigation services for secure satellite-based positioning, navigation, tracking and synchronization, for example Galileo Public Regulated Service, Galileo Open Service, GPS.
  • Earth observation services to deliver aerial photographs of high precision and actuality to obtain up-to-date information on the relevant mission or crisis event, its geographical extension, its temporal development, damages, etc.

Current Status

After the completion of the Full Feasibility Study in August 2016, in which the user needs and user requirements were determined in workshops and interviews with potential users, as well as first sketches for a possible system architecture and business models were compiled, the kick-off for the Demonstrator Project took place in April 2019 and the Baseline Design Review (BDR) in September 2019.

The Demonstrator Project is divided into two phases:

In Phase 1, the following activities are carried out:

  • Reviewing existing user needs resulting from the feasibility study
  • Re-activation of existing users
  • Fixing dates with existing and new potential users to update user requirements
  • Conducting interviews with potential users and partners
  • Reworking user requirements
  • Developing system requirements
  • Updating competitive situation
  • Reworking business plan calculations
  • Updating risk matrix
  • Participation at conferences
  • Research on topics like 5G, PRS AUTH, software solutions, GOVSATCOM, robots, drones, hand-held photogrammetric systems

Prime Contractor

Project Managers

Contractor Project Manager

Gerhard Heindl
IABG GmbH
Einsteinstr. 20
D-85521 Ottobrunn
Germany
+498960882033

ESA Project Manager

Volker Schumacher
ESA, European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT)
Fermi Avenue, Harwell Science & Innovation Campus
Didcot
OX11 0FD
United Kingdom
T +44 (0)1235 444 352

Status Date

Updated: 29 November 2019 - Created: 07 December 2016