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Positioning of emergency personnel in rescue operations: possibilities and vulnerabilities with existing techniques and identification of needs for future R&D
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Signal Processing. KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Centres, ACCESS Linnaeus Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2718-0262
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2007 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Summary and recommendations Presently, GPS-equipped mobile phones are launched at a large scale, enabling a variety of positioning based services. Indeed, GPS is expected to be the future killer application for mobile phones and services. The concept of accurate positioning by technical means implies a large number of applications not only for the mass market, but also for rescue services, fire brigades, police forces, and military and so on. For professional and governmental safety-of-life services the current systems are far from usable and large efforts have to be concentrated on research and development. Technologies based on GPS and other satellite-based positioning systems alone are vulnerable and are expected to malfunction in indoor or challenging electromagnetic environments, or due to antagonistic measures. Satellite-based positioning is a key component in a robust communication and positioning system aimed for first responders. Satellite based positioning in combination with local radio-based positioning systems and dead-reckoning or inertial navigation systems are enablers to fulfill the users? requirements on accuracy and availability of the positioning service. Sweden is a competent player within security. Around 300 companies with some 22.000 employees have been identified within the area. Swedish industry, research institutes and universities are expected to take part in international consortiums within EU FP7, as well as being a player within DHS funded research and development within the personal positioning and navigation area. The market potential for professional and safety-of-life personal equipment for robust positioning and communication with suitable means for information presentation is significant. In the US and the EU there are some 2 million incident responders each. On a national level we count some 35.000 fire fighters, police, and military personnel in international operations. A migration of the technology to private end-consumers as implemented in consumer electronics opens up a gigantic market for wireless services within navigation, gaming, and position-awareness services. Within the project positioning of first responders in rescue operations, robust positioning has been studied. From a system perspective, technologies for positioning of personnel are key system components within a platform for positioning, information transfer for command and control, and information processing and presentation for the personnel at all levels. \? Systems for training are needed to introduce the end-user to the technology, and for training and simulation of novel strategies enabled by the technology. Stationary training systems can be implemented with state-of-the art positioning methods. Feedback from the end-user to the R&D community is instrumental in the specification and development of future means for positioning of first responders. A research infrastructure, or test-bed, for implementation and evaluation of robust positioning is an essential tool. \? The functionality of the equipment has to be robust against hostile electromagnetic environments, either due to the actual physical environment (indoor scenario, intersystem interference from nearby electronic equipment, scenario within a large steel constructions, or power plant, etc), or due to electronic warfare antagonistic actions. Research has to be performed in several areas such as channel characterization for radio positioning, quality of satellite signals subjected to interference, and integrity of sensor information due to external influences. \? Contemporary MEMS-technology provides small-size sensors with low energy consumption. The rapid development within sensor technologies enables data fusion from a plurality of sensors by digital signal processing. Fundamental issues within digital signal processing have to be studied in several fields, including methods to enhance sensor performance by incorporating behavioral modeling; fusion of digital information from a plurality of sensors; aspects of hardware implementation to fulfill requirements on size, weight and uptime, and software defined receivers for radio-based positioning, communication and mapping. In summary, future systems for positioning of first responders in rescue operations rely on the development of infra-structure aimed for end-users in a training scenario; and a platform for R&D-purposes. In parallel, fundamental issues have to be studied regarding the electromagnetic environment, as well as methodologies in digital signal processing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, Sweden: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2007.
Trita-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2007:037
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-86657OAI: diva2:500905
QC 20120221Available from: 2012-02-13 Created: 2012-02-13 Last updated: 2012-02-21Bibliographically approved

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Händel, PeterSkog, IsaacJansson, Magnus
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