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Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-04-30

HEIMDALL addresses the challenge of providing integrated tools for emergency planning and management, including the definition and sharing of multi-disciplinary scenarios, and addressing the needs of the involved first responders (firefighting units, police departments, medical emergency services, civil protection units and command and control centres) and relevant stakeholders in terms of interoperability, inter-organisational coordination and information sharing.
HEIMDALL aims at improving preparedness of societies to cope with complex crisis situations by providing a flexible platform for multi-hazard emergency planning and management, which makes use of innovative technologies for the definition of multi-disciplinary scenarios and response plans, providing integrated assets to support emergency management, such as monitoring, modelling, situation and risk assessment, decision support and communication tools. HEIMDALL fosters data and information sharing among the relevant stakeholders, maximises the accuracy of valuable information and improves population awareness.

The main objectives are:

Objective 1: To identify and analyse the existing operational procedures, best practices and communication interfaces of the relevant end users (first responders) involved in emergency management, namely:
firefighting units, police departments, medical emergency services, civil protection units and command and control centres.
Objective 2: To provide a collaborative platform for expert information exchange and tools for interorganisational communication and request for assistance mechanisms.
Objective 3: To provide an integrated tool for the definition of multi-disciplinary emergency scenarios, tailored to specific geographical areas and addressing the heterogeneous requirements of the different involved stakeholders, including the population at risk and first responders’ organisations.
Objective 4: To provide access to a variety of existing sensors of different nature and their corresponding advanced processing to develop map-oriented hazard monitoring and assessment information: (i) satellitebased sensors; (ii) in-situ sensors; (iii) aerial sensors deployed in a swarm of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs); (iv) information gathered on the field by individuals.
Objective 5: To develop improved an innovative hazard modelling for highly precise now- and forecast of emergency events. In particular, the following hazards will be addressed: forest fires, floods and terrain movements. Additionally, the extension of the system to address other related emergencies as well as manmade events will be considered.
Objective 6: To develop effective situation, risk and vulnerability assessment tools based on innovative methods for improved risk assessment (models, maps) and emergency response (near real time risk uptake).
Objective 7: To develop information fusion, situation assessment and decision support features tailored to respond purposes, taking into account the previously defined scenarios available in the system and identifying the most suitable response plan.
Objective 8: To develop a robust and reliable communication architecture, including the provision of rapidly-deployable communication infrastructure for first responders on the field, based on satellite communications, enabling a cost-efficient distribution of relevant information.
Objective 9: To develop and deploy information means and strategies to inform and warn the population at risk about existing or forecasted emergencies.
Objective 10: To provide a platform for the integration of the available assets in a modular and scalable system and deploy comprehensive graphical user interfaces (GUIs) tailored to the stakeholders’ requirements.
Objective 11: To develop business and innovation concepts based on the federated access to data and services provided by HEIMDALL, generating added value and allow business opportunities to third parties which can access or provide data or servi
The work performed in the first year mostly related to the achievement of the first milestone (MS1) dealing with the definition of the system architecture. Moreover, being the system composed of multiple modules, the implementation of software modules started accordingly according to the specification and requirements collected in the first half of the year. The demonstration of the first modules/functions being implemented in the first reporting year will be carried out in correspondence of the release A, planned for late September 2018, and shown to the advisory board in a dedicated event planned for early October. All planned modules show good maturity, also taking advantage of the modules derived from past or ongoing projects (i.e. RAZOR and PHAROS), which have been conveniently extended.
The technical development of the project has been efficiently supported by intense dissemination actions, useful to show the HEIMDALL concept and therefore liaise with other entities involved in other EU-based initiatives or in general in the context of preparedness and response planning in disaster management situations. Particularly relevant has been the participation to standardization fora, i.e. OASIS EXDL, whose outcomes will be used in the next phases of the project.
The main goals of HEIMDALL with respect to the SoTA, taking into account also a concrete exploitation plan are as follows:
1) To extend the basic on-update situation assessment by explicitly modelling and assessing the evolution of the monitored situation (enhanced spatio-temporal situation awareness).
2) To include hazard- and task-specific domain knowledge and to develop solutions towards the management of cross-domain interacting and cascading effects.
3) To provide automated support on different time scales. Based on permanent situation monitoring, the Decision Support System will provide information ranging from time-critical immediate response (short term) to medium and long term processes up to the timescale of climatic changes.
4) To integrate scenario management capabilities for response plan matching and the provision of enhanced response recommendations to the decision maker.
5) To develop a content-based federated architecture to foster data exchange among the different actors over heterogeneous transmission media.
6) To provide rapidly-deployable communication infrastructures to robustly re-establish communication between the control centres and first responders on the field allowing the latter to access and provide information to the federated platform.
7) To provide means for the efficient distribution of emergency-related information from the control centres to dedicated applications installed in commercial end user receivers (smartphones) for first responders on the field.
8) To provide information channels for publishing emergency-related information to be accessed by the possible citizens at risk, enhancing population awareness.