Austrian Study Researches Disaster Response Information
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 | Comments

A contract for a new study about electronically sharing information between Austrian civil and military control centers and management information systems in disaster response scenarios was signed. The aim is to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of relief efforts by building common situational awareness.

A crisis situation can be triggered by any number of events such as a winter storm, cyber attacks or an act of terrorism. The effects can range from power outages to the destruction of infrastructure.

In a new study called INTERPRETER, run jointly with the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Frequentis, researchers are investigating new technologies that harmonize electronic information. The aim is to give organizations involved in disaster response a shared view of critical aspects of the incident, such as which areas need help, where the priorities lie and who has what capacities.

Frequentis is working together with the AIT, which is coordinating the project, on interoperability in next-generation disaster response. The new capabilities will support organizations such as the Austrian armed forces, which is tasked with rapid assistance in cases of a catastrophe alongside its core duty of national defense. The Austrian armed forces and regional emergency management centers rely on electronic systems to process the mountains of data involved in a crisis. INTERPRETER forges an opportunity to electronically compare data between these highly secure systems.

Researchers are using state-of-the-art methods for software design to enable a fully automated exchange of data between civil and military management information systems. It is vital to ensure that the data is consistent and is processed in a shared, interconnected manner, so that in the event of a crisis, emergency services can build shared situational awareness, synchronize information about affected areas, and boost the effectiveness and efficiency of the response.

The modular structure of the INTERPRETER solution allows it to be extended and used sustainably. The system also enables emergency services to involve affected people in the disaster response process, to further increase the overall efficiency of managing incidents in Austria.

“INTERPRETER builds both on the AIT research activities of previous years and the INKA project, which was conducted by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology as part of its security research program, KIRAS,” said Ivan Gojmerac, project coordinator from AIT. “Those earlier stages laid the groundwork for INTERPRETER by developing the interoperability interfaces between civil and military management information systems, and successfully testing them together with the Austrian organizations involved in crisis and catastrophe management.”

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