Methodology

Methodology

RESPOND-A project has been organised into nine Work Packages (WPs), with WP1 (Project management) and WP8 (Dissemination, exploitation, promotion and knowledge transfer) running in parallel throughout the entire duration of the project, continuously interacting with the technical, training and demonstration WPs. In structuring the overall work plan, special attention has been taken to assure attainment of project objectives and effective implementation. 

During its first steps, the project will hold a requirements’ analysis, elaboration of First Responders’ pilots and demonstrations’ specifications, as well as collection of the characteristics of the equipment (i.e., sensors, wearables, UAVs, UGVs, PCS components, etc.) to be used. This work is concentrated in WP2. 

 The research and development of the RESPOND-A platform and components is carried out in three WPs running in parallel: WP3, WP4 and WP5.

RESPOND-A is also certainly oriented towards the actual demonstration of the technologies of First Responders in real life environments. Hence, the project follows the approach of establishing two relevant WPs (WP6 – Training of First Responders in RESPOND-A novel technologies and WP7 – Pilots Validation and Evaluation). In addition, these WPs include training activities, integration phase and realisation of the three pilots and the final large-scale demonstration.

RESPOND-A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

WP1 supports the project management and coordination activities according to the Project Management Handbook (delivered in M01). The overall objective of this WP is the implementation of a successful project and financial management plan including, reporting to the European Commission (EC), ensuring delivery of RESPOND-A results on time and within budget, and maintaining a high level of quality of the deliverables. The General Assembly (GA) will be the central governing body for RESPOND-A and will be chaired by the Project Coordinator (PC). The Ethics Manager (EM) will be responsible of warranting that all technical activities, use cases, data management and data processing will be carried out in an ethical way that respects privacy and regulatory constraints. WP1 encloses the following goals:

  • Management of the project according to EU grant agreement provisions;
  • Communicating with the Commission, preparing reports and ensuring information flow to/within the Consortium;
  • Implementing procedures for self-assessment, risk management, and conflict management;
  • Overall technical management of the project, technical coordination between WPs and local trial site management;
  • Monitoring project progress and supervising quality control;
  • Planning, arranging, and co-organising meetings for project co-ordination;
  • Implementing and administrating collaborative tools to ensure efficient and easy communication within the project; Ensuring cooperation with the respective bodies including the project’s Advisory Board and EU peer-projects.

The purpose of this WP is to describe in detail the functional and technical specifications of the RESPOND-A architecture. In particular, WP2 will classify and define in detail all requirements in terms of data communication, processing and visualisation, use cases, decision support and policy control, as well as scenario planning and scenario building for First Responders, command and control centres (C&C) and incident managers of different actors of the RESPOND-A project. All identified stakeholders will be involved, and it will thus bring together a multi-disciplinary body of security experts, communication experts, First Responder devices experts, data analysts and AR experts, who will outline the functions that they should perform and will specify their role within the RESPOND-A architecture. Furthermore, an evaluation strategy for assessment of RESPOND-A’s effectiveness will be clearly defined as a result of activities in this work package. Finally, WP2 intends to provide means of validation (KPIs) for the proper validation and demonstration of RESPOND-A

WP3 will design and develop the RESPOND-A solutions for First Responders, based on the operation of an IT platform for the entire emergency care chain. The RESPOND-A custom wearable devices, sensors and forensic solutions will be implemented, enabling the communication of valuable sensor data between the First Responders and facilitating the prevention and management of disasters.  The objectives of WP3 are summarised as follows:

  • To develop wearable sensors and gears for the First Responders;
  • To develop an IT platform capable of integration and modelling of data coming from multiple sources;
  • To implement a tool for emergency triage focusing on high-quality, consistent emergency care;
  • To integrate radio and toxic detection sensors in the RESPOND-A platform.

WP4 targets the design and the development of solutions for deploying and using unmanned vehicles, namely drones and robots, for First Responders’ operations.  By assisting in the collection of valuable information from mission scenes, the operation of UAVs and UGVs will extend Situational Awareness, provide critical support and offer physical response capabilities to First Responders. The WP4 wide objectives are:

  • To investigate procedures and tools that will support the UAV and UGV use cases in the RESPOND-A project;
  • Τo design an enhanced communication network with UAVs and UGVs combining with on-board/ground servers and radio links to cover the working area of First Responders;
  • To design and develop a fleet of drones and robots with enhanced capabilities to support mission assessment, search and rescue operations, forest fire fighting amongst others;
  • To develop and integrate robust remote and distributed drone fleet operation models for First Responders;
  • To design and develop robotic technologies that can be used for multiple activities (i.e. early warning, intervention and recovery efforts during disaster) in dangerous environments in all possible kinds of support missions, while ensuring quality of service and safety of human beings.

This WP will focus on the development and implementation of a Common Operating Picture for the First Responders through AR and MCX. More specifically, WP5 will provide novel applications of AR and MCX to enable operators to view mission-salient information as part of an integrated common operating picture. Using big data analytics, computer vision and machine learning mechanisms, decision support tools will be created providing users with alerts, accessible information and analytics. User information and the models producing it will be personalised to each end-user (control centre, First Responders in the field), offering more relevant analytics and suggestions. The objectives of WP5 are summarised as follows:

  • Provide AR tools and implement MCX communications that facilitate and optimize the simultaneous. management of data & information from several sources and sensors by First Responders at different levels;
  • Experiment and assess different ways of using AR technology for integrating data in Responders’ operations;
  • Present all the intelligence and fused data in order to support First Responder decision process;
  • Organize a coherent User Interface on different levels of First Responder operations: command & control room, firefighters police officers, Emergency Medical Technicians, etc.;
  • Provide the Data Format Fusion (DFF) tool with multimodal information available in several formats;
  • Organize the Common Operating Picture, a single identical display of relevant information shared by more than one command that facilitates collaborative planning and assists all echelons to achieve Situational Awareness and a crystal-clear operational view based on accurate, timely information;
  • Improve First Responder Situational Awareness using mobile computing techniques and promote shared awareness in a collaborative and dynamic mission-centric operations environment.

WP6 aims to develop dedicated training methodologies for a broad range of needs of the First Responders of the project, responding to their specific identified needs, as well as assess and trial the RESPOND-A platform. The objectives of WP6 are summarised as follows:

  • To provide training of the First Responders of the project in RESPOND-A novel technologies;
  • To educate and train the First Responders through operational, AR, VR and MR training based on serious game technology, table exercises and simulations;
  • To develop the training methodology for the Responders and form a plan for their equipment installations;
  • To organize, monitor and evaluate the field trainings of the First Responders assessing the RESPOND-A platform.

 

The main objective of this WP is to design the appropriate scenarios for demonstrating the RESPOND-A platform and integrate the software and hardware components of the various RESPOND-A modules to ensure the operation of the concrete and unified RESPOND-A platform. The role of this WP is quite important considering the large scale and complexity of the overall system. As a result, the duration of this WP overlaps with the research and development WPs backwards (WP3, WP4, and WP5). In this way, feedback could be given from the development of the RESPOND-A components to the integration phase, i.e., if modification or configuration is necessary before beginning the Use Case experimentation and validation. Second, the WP7 aims at planning, validating and evaluating the proof-of-concept RESPOND-A use cases, namely, Pilot 1: Pilot description for Enhanced Situational Awareness (Cyprus), Pilot 2: Pilot description for Professional Communications and Crowdsourcing through 5G (Greece), Pilot 3: Pilot description for AR applicability in maritime SAR operations (Spain). Thus, feedback is expected from the early phase of WP7, during Use Case setup, to the integration phase for optimising parts of the RESPOND-A platform.

WP8 is the main vehicle for dissemination, communication and impact creation of RESPOND-A. It will define all the required actions in order to ensure that RESPOND-A technology and results will be properly disseminated and communicated to academic, border authorities and industrial parties as well as to the general public. The RESPOND-A Consortium will disseminate and distribute RESPOND-A results (architecture, integrated platform, evaluation assessments and business analysis) to internal and external collaborators (researchers, standardisation bodies, companies, EU H2020 peer projects and individuals). The business perspectives of the proposed solution will also be investigated in WP8. A techno-economic analysis will shed light to potential strategies of penetrating the market, advancing and promoting current solutions and opening new areas of collaboration in academia, First Responders’ organisations, industry and network providers. In particular, WP8 contributes to:

  • Perform interactive communication activities and dissemination of the RESPOND-A project results towards the various First Responders’ organisations and integrating their feedback at key points of the project development;
  • Preparing the project outcome into new business models based on market evaluation for First Responders;
  • Keeping close touch and liaison activities with relevant H2020 Projects and fostering visibilities of the project within the First Responders’ ecosystem.

The objective is to ensure compliance with the ‘ethics requirements’.