March 2022

This newsletter keeps you updated on the latest activities of the Search & Rescue (SnR) project and informs you on news and activities related to Search and Rescue operations. On behalf of the consortium, we hope you enjoy reading this issue.


We are happy to announce our upcoming webinar taking place this week and dedicated to Training for SAR operations. Through a multidisciplinary approach covering the different types of SAR operations (K9, maritime rescue mountain rescue, CBRN, people trapped under rubble) we will discuss how professionals and volunteers are trained to carry out these dangerous interventions that save human lives on a daily basis. Organizations from all across Europe (Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania) specialized in SAR will be gathered in the course of this webinar to exchange experience and best practices on this important topic. The webinar will also introduce some of the project's upcoming pilots as well as introduce the GALILEO SaR service. The webinar is open to all and free of charge!


Galileo SAR

Since its launch in 2016, the GALILEO SaR service has contributed to live-saving efforts by swiftly relaying radio beacon distress signals to the relevant SAR crews by means of dedicated payloads on-board Galileo satellites, supported by three ground stations strategically deployed across Europe. The Galileo SAR has been presented to the Search and Rescue project consortium during a plenary meeting early March and will be again presented in the context of the webinar on training for SAR operations on the 24th of March.


First SnR Project Pilot in Italy

The first pilot of the SnR project is now in sight! This Use Case will take place in Poggioreale, a small community in Sicily, Italy, on 28 April 2022. On the night of January 15th, 1968, a terrible earthquake raked through the Valle del Belice in southwest Sicily. Around 900 people died and ten towns and villages were significantly damaged. In UC1 we expect to simulate; people trapped under the rubble and/or in premises not reachable as a consequence of the earthquake/ the release of gasses and/or other toxic substances/ blocked roads preventing traditional vehicles from reaching the area. Stay tuned for more material about this pilot!


The SAFERS Project

SAFERS ‘Structured Approaches for Forest fire Emergencies in Resilient Societies’ aims to support societies in becoming more resilient across the key phases of the forests fires emergency management cycle. SAFERS is going to create an open and integrated platform featuring a forest fire Decision Support System. The platform will use information from different sources: earth observations from Copernicus and GEOSS, fire sensors in forests, topographic data, weather forecasts and even crowdsourced data from social media and other apps that can be used by citizens and first responders to provide situational in-field information.


A Situation Awareness Model to Support Search & Rescue Operations

In case of a crisis, immediate action of the first responders is crucial, while their fast and efficient reaction plays a pivotal role in life-saving intervention, urban search and rescue, and in overall disaster response. However, in some cases first responders and emergency teams deal with inadequate information access and inconsistency of heterogeneous data during SaR operations. 

In the context of the Search and Rescue project, UBITECH proposes an ontology based model, namely the Situation Awareness (SA) model that addresses aforementioned challenges. The SA model provides general situation awareness services by monitoring the biometrics of actors in S&R operations, as well as alerting the first responders and rescue teams about critical events happening in the field and may threaten human lives. The model will be utilized in all the project’s use cases, starting by UC1 exercise that will be held in Poggioreale on the 28th of April. 


SnR @ the International conference on planning, challenges of Disaster Management and Resilience

The project was presented at the International Conference on Planning, Challenges of Disaster Management and Resilience. Approaches, methodology, and expected UCs were presented at the Conference. The project was very well received and the organizers highlighted the fact that on Science and Women’s Day it was the first intervention made by a woman at the conference.


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This Project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 882897