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Next-generation equipment tools and mission-critical strategies for First Responders

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RESPOND-A (Next-generation equipment tools and mission-critical strategies for First Responders)

Reporting period: 2020-06-01 to 2021-05-31

RESPOND-A introduces a unique five-tier project architectural structure for best associating modern telecommunications technology with novel practices for First Responders of saving lives, while safeguarding themselves, more effectively and efficiently. The introduced architecture includes Perception, Network, Processing, Comprehension, and User Interface layers, which can be flexibly elaborated to support multiple levels and types of customization, so as, the intended technologies and practices can adapt to any European Environment Agency (EEA)-type disaster scenario. The interrelation of the architectural layers is illustrated below.

Objective 1
To identify the Situational Awareness requirements of First Responders and specify how the proposed mission-critical networks and applications can reflect these requirements in cost-e

Objective 2
To develop and provide to First Responders equipment tools with continuous connectivity for protecting them against multiple unexpected dangers, and facilitate their operations by upgrading COP and Situational Awareness.ffective and SELP-aligned manner.

Objective 3
To deploy and use on demand connected fleets of UAVs for improving personnel safety and ensuring seamless access to video and sensor data for all types of First Responders involved in the project.

Objective 4
To extract knowledge and directions for training exercise of First Responders with respect to the usability of the proposed tools and applications, so as, each end-user can be fully familiarised with these new technologies.

Objective 5
To deploy on site and in position experimental testing and perform real-world validations of the developed network-enabled equipment tools and applications using the training facilities available by our Responder Partners.

Objective 6
To execute large-scale demonstration at the Port of Valencia, based on concrete application scenarios for Police, Fire Fighters, EMS, and pilot cases, targeting to a COP. After the demo, provide evaluation reports and references.

Objective 7
To design and establish novel practices for the interaction between First Responders and research centres, so as, the newly introduced network tools and applications will be easily understood and smoothly incorporated.

Objective 8
To disseminate and communicate the project technological, conceptual and practical outcomes for raising impact awareness on Responder organisations and the wider community, and exploit synergies with other EU projects.

Objective 9
To provide an exploitation strategy and develop a business marketing plan for the potential commercial rollout of the RESPOND-A project results, either as a whole solution or partial components.
The project is on track and has achieved the two planned milestones. The project started with the definition of the requirements specification framework combining all the technical assets to enhance or develop in the project, aligned with the use case definition and operational requirements. The project has been running completely in Covid19 era with obvious impacts in its life. Despite the measures imposed in relation to travelling, the project has managed to run according to the plan and within time limits. A Grant Amendment has been decided and will be reflected in the next periodic report. Based on the Grant Amendment Deliverables 6.3 and 8.6 will be submitted in Autumn 2021, hence they are not described in this report.

This deliverable describes the effort made by all partners during the first year of RESPOND-A. This deliverable also includes estimations based on the project partners’ preliminary reporting of effort and costs during this period. These estimations have been created using data coming from the project partners’ own effort and cost reports and are combined with estimations provided by the project’s coordinator where appropriate.

Main challenges for RESPOND-A in its first year of operation have been:
• Difficulties pertaining to the full integration of end users in the project, due to their active involvement in the global pandemic COVID-19
• Difficulties in integrating the various technologies between them, due to the ongoing physical distancing measures as well as the ongoing travel restrictions
• Limitations to the delivery of RESPOND-A training programs, due to the ongoing physical distancing measures as well as the ongoing travel restrictions
Perspectives for 2022

• The implementation of the current EU Vaccination strategy is anticipated to have a positive impact on the relaxation of physical distancing, travel restrictions
• In relation to the above, RESPOND-A is already planning an Athens Trial; an opportunity for the first time to bring to life and physically integrate the various technologies developed
• Intensification of the planning of the 3 RESPOND –A trials (Athens, Limassol, Valencia)
• Intensification of collaboration with other DRS projects, planning of common activities, capitalisation on relevant technologies. A good example of this is RESPOND-A’s 20th April 2021 workshop on Augmented Technologies