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FASTER PROJECT

FASTER MAIN GOAL

FASTER aims to address the challenges associated with the protection of first responders in hazardous environments, while at the same time enhancing their capabilities in terms of situational awareness and communication

FASTER will provide innovative, accepted and efficient toolS:

Data collection providing a secure IoT platform for distributed, real-time gathering and processing of hetero-geneous physiological and critical environmental data from smart textiles, wearables, sensors and Social Media.

Operational capabilities providing flexible, multi-functional autonomous vehicles, including swarms of them, for extended inspection capabilities and physical mitigation.

Risk assessment providing tools for individual health assessment and disaster scene analysis for early warn-ing and risk mitigation.

Improved ergonomics providing augmented reality tools for enhanced information streaming, as well as body and gesture-based interfaces for vehicle navigation and communication.

Resilient communication at the field level providing haptic communication capabilities, emergency commu-nication devices, communication with K9s; and at the infrastructure level through 5G technologies and UAVs.

Tactical situational awareness providing innovative visualisation services for a portable Common Opera-tional Picture for both indoor and outdoor scenarios representation.

Efficient Cooperation and Interoperability amongst first responders, LEA, community members and other resource providers to request and deliver assistance where and when it is most needed using blockchain technology to give everyone involved the ability to write and read data (including sensor data) on an open source platform to speed up disaster relief to a whole new level.

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Faster overview

FASTER aims to establish a new approach for disaster response in order to improve Europe’s overall disas-ter resilience. This will be accomplished by the targeted employment and synergetic deployment of a set of appropriate and complementary technologies. Immediate response is the second phase of the disaster man-agement cycle and is a very important aspect for dealing effectively with disasters. Consequently, FASTER will improve the disaster response and monitoring capabilities by providing first responders with a suite of core and supplementary tools to augment their situational awareness and, as a result, guarantee their safety as well as enhance their operational capacity.

FASTER strategic objectives

The FASTER consortium has decomposed its main objective into a set of S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) Objectives.

SO1

Transforming First Responders’ needs into validated solutions, acceptable from the society/citizens

SO2

Early identification of operational risks enhancing first responder’s safety

SO3

First Responders’ engagement, training and experimenting pathway

SO4

Enhanced situational awareness for first responders through augmented reality technologies

SO5

Highly ergonomic tools for first responders’ operations

SO6

Robust and resilient emergency communication and cooperation infrastructure

SO7

Employing autonomous vehicles, as units or in swarms, for risk identification and physical mitigation

SO8

Portable Common Operational Picture for maximizing situational awareness

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Motivation

The European Environment Agency (EAA) reports that Europe is experiencing an increasing number of disasters, derived either from natural phenomena, technological accidents or human actions. These disasters affect EU citizens, the EU economy and environment every year.

Due to the nature of their work, first responders are often operating in risky and hazardous conditions disaster sites, like demolished, burnt or flooded districts, being exposed to non-visible threats such as very high temperatures and dangerous gases.

Technical approacH

FASTER will develop a set of tools towards enhancing the operational capacity of first responders while in-creasing their safety in the field. It will introduce Augmented Reality technologies for improved situational awareness and early risk identification, and Mobile and Wearable technologies for better mission management and information delivery to first responders. Body and Gesture based User Interfaces will be employed to enable new capabilities while reducing equipment clutter, offering unprecedented ergonomics. Moreover, FASTER will provide a platform of Autonomous Vehicles, namely drones and robots, aiming to collect valuable information from the disaster scene prior to operations, extend situational awareness and offer physical response capabilities to first responders. FASTER will gather multi-modal data from the field, utilizing an IoT network, and Social Media content to extract, either locally or in the cloud, meaningful information and to provide an enhanced Common Operational Picture to the responder teams in a decentralised way using Portable Control Centres. It will additionally use blockchain technology to keep track of needs and capabilities using smart contracts for maximum efficiency. The whole system will be facilitated by tools for Resilient Communications Support featuring opportunistic relay services, emergency communication devices and 5G-enabled communication capabilities.

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