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AF3 Report Summary

Project ID: 607276
Funded under: FP7-SECURITY
Country: Italy

Periodic Report Summary 2 - AF3 (Advanced Forest Fire Fighting)

Project Context and Objectives:
In recent years a series of factors - including climate change, urbanization, poor landscape management and malevolent acts – has caused an increase in large scale forest fires (so called “mega-fires”) particularly destructive and difficult to control with technologies and systems available to fire fighters and emergency agencies.
The AF3 project integrates innovative technologies and existing systems in order to provide a highly significant improvement to the efficiency of fire-fighting operations and to the protection of human lives, environment and properties.
The AF3 project aims at solving weaknesses in current operations and focuses on the following areas:

• Innovative active countermeasure: implementation of the innovative AAFF (Advanced Aerial Fire Fighting) system to accurately and safely disperse extinguishing materials in any condition: H24, any weather.
• Innovative passive countermeasures: fast build-up of preventive layers and preventive intervention
• Advanced public information channels: smart phones, internet and dedicated broadcasting will be integrated in the global system

• Early detection and monitoring: integration and deployment of a wide array of sensors including satellite images, airplanes and UAVs and ground mobile and stationary systems for early fire detection and environmental monitoring of smoke and toxic clouds propagation.
• Integrated crisis management: overall coordination of all fire fighting missions will be performed through the innovative AF3 Core Expert Engine which will integrate three complex systems:
o Command and Control center.
o Risk Analysis Tool (to assess behaviour and health risks to human, livestock and infrastructures).
o Decision Support and Fire Fighting Simulator Lab (to predict fire progression and effectiveness of active and passive countermeasures).

The AF3 Core Expert Engine will receive data from the wide array of sensors, process and fuse heterogeneous information and run mission simulations in real time to support the decision makers.
The results of AF3 will be validated by intermediate tests during the project, and by a final demonstration with flight tests and drilling exercises carried out simultaneously in Spain, Italy, Greece and Israel.
End User organisations actively participates to all the phases of the AF3 project particularly in the definition of requirements, validation of the technologies and evaluation of the efficiency of the proposed solution.
AF3 addresses the ethical and legal issues related to the proposed solutions and thoroughly considers their impact on human health and environment.

Project Results:
The second year of the project has been particularly important from the technical point of view. During the first year, the architecture and the requirements were defined, while the second year has been dedicated to the practical approach of the implementation.
After the completion of the first annual review in July 2015 (M17), the following actions have accelerated a deeper comprehension and a more pragmatic implementation of the project architecture:
• the definition of the interrelation among subsystems and models, due to the selected architecture, based on Web service implementation using REST (Representational Stat Transfer) protocol and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) formatting
• the preparation of the Interface Control Document of the whole system, internal document, under the Technical coordinator’s responsibility,
• the organization of a three-day technical plenary project meeting in Athens
• the planning of the pre-final trials in Greece in early June 2016
The three days technical meeting in Athens was a success in terms of participation of partners, in terms of agreement of the definition of the structure of the whole project and in terms of a preliminary description of the preliminary tests planned in Greece in early June 2016.
The relatively advanced deadline of the pre-final test in Greece, with respect to the delivery of some modules/subsystems of the DoW, has stressed the integration plan of the different modules/subsystems and accelerated the process of software and integration. The integration plan has been organized in order to schedule the steps from each separate module integration to the integration among different modules/subsystems during the month of April 2016, in order to execute the overall software integration by the second week of May 2016 via remote connection.
The consortium has made a big effort in order to present preliminary integrated versions of modules/subsystems functioning properly for the pre-trial in Athens, three months in advance of the DoW. The complete plan for the integration is strictly connected with the dates of the trials in Greece - June 2016, Spain - October 2016, Israel - February 2017, and is proposed in D81.1. The completion of the whole integration will be accomplished before the final test foreseen in Israel in February 2017.
The project has been disseminated in the five major separated occasions.
The Advisory board has been enlarged with the participation of four additional institutions:
• Corpo Forestale dello Stato – Roma Italia
• MAGRAMA - Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente – Spain
• Räddningstjänsten Storgöteborg – Greater Gothenburg fire Fighting Rescue Service - Sweden
• Region of Junta de Castilla y León - Defence of the Natural Environment department - Spain
and the following two scientific representatives:
• Cerasela Tanasescu - RMIT Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology- Australia
• Jesus San Miguel Ayanz - Scientific Project Leader – Forest Information System for Europe (FISE) –European Commission Joint Research Centre (Ispra)
An after-action-review (AAR), starting from the pre-trials in Greece, will be performed in conjunction with the final demonstration activities.
Liaison with EU-FP7 DISASTER (Data Interoperability Solution at Stakeholders Emergency Reaction) has been investigated.
From the management point of view, the big issue met and solved during the first part of the second year has been the reduction of the involvement of Fraunhofer Ernst Mach Institute. Fortunately, as described in the risk and contingency plan of the DoW, the consortium is well balanced and partners with similar competences have been found in order to seamlessly substitute Fraunhofer Ernst Mach Institute with limited delays on the different activities.
All the deliverables foreseen for the period have been provided by the end of the second year. Justifications have been provided for the delays.
All the milestones foreseen for the period have been achieved.

Potential Impact:
The AF3 project aims to overcome the current operational gaps in preventing, managing and fighting large scale forest fires through the development of a system that will integrate a variety of both existing and new technologies including sensor and monitoring technologies, advanced Crisis Management and innovative active and passive fire countermeasures. Consequently, the AF3 system incorporates a variety of subsystems, SW modules/services components, computers and HW as well as communication and computer network means, which are developed and provided by the various AF3 participants.
The AF3 system is comprised of many sub-systems, each one specialising in a specific discipline related to crisis management.
1. C4I (command, control. Communication, computers and intelligence) – the centralizing subsystem, initializes all processes of the system, displays tactical layers of data (force location, drone imagery and more). Functions as a mission planning system for ground forces and aircrafts.
2. ASA (advanced situation awareness) – gathers data from different sensors and utilities in the field and generates a map with the location of all known entities
3. FFL (firefighting lab) – a simulation tool. Simulates the progression of the fire and the effectiveness of the firefighting efforts
4. Risk Analysis – generates reports on different risk factors to humans and infrastructure
5. Decision Support – aids the decision makers in analysis of the situation
6. Crowd behaviour modules – modules crowd behaviour in various circumstances, defined by configurable parameters
7. Sensors and devices – data that is received from additional sources
8. End user app – allows access to system data for personnel in the field and gives them a way to communicate with the command center
9. Weather data – generates real time weather data and smoke plume
10. Satellite imagery – live satellite photos
11. Data fusion and control – processes data from sensors to give a clearer understanding of the situation to the commander
The system can be deployed as a crisis management center, which can be set up on demand to manage an event. In addition, the system has a training mode to provide critical experience to the users in different scenarios. This system is expected to allow the users a full arsenal of tools under one system. The concept can be tailored to specific requirements of the client. This system will solve all control related issues for the commanding personnel, and aid them in every aspect necessary to fully understand the situation and react in the best possible way, saving forest, infrastructure and lives.

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