Project deliverable Open Access

Report on user requirements, existing tools and infrastructure

Cosma Robin; Ioannis Benekos; Hanna Gharrad; Maruntelu Nicolae; Philippe Besson; Andriciuc Radu; Pia Ferner; Simona Panunzi; Laura Giraldi; Sabrina Scheuer; Rosanna Babagiannou

Due to climate change and the development of high-risk industrial technologies, European countries are facing a high magnitude and frequency of natural or industrial disasters. Therefore, challenges experienced by staff and state and private structures working in the field of R&D are constantly diversifying.
The main objective of this task is to gather information on existing technologies used in SAR operations relevant to the location of entrapped victims; the identification of limitations and gaps, as well as of future needs. Benchmarking of available commercial products will also be included.
The need for equipment to ensure the protection of First Responders against the possible effects of a disaster and the use of technologies that significantly increase the probability of survival of the victims in the search-rescue process have been addressed in chapter 3.
Information was collected from 82 questionnaires completed by users (civil protection authorities) and project partners, including private companies and volunteer associations working in the field of R&D. There have been a number of limitations and gaps in existing SAR technology on the market, including proposals to modernise it or design new technologies. In the same direction, the information obtained through questionnaires allowed, in chapter 4, the benchmarking of available commercial products. The conclusions underline the need for technological improvements in the field of R&D, as the best solution for an optimal cost-benefit ratio. New SAR technologies must add value to SAR actions, being able to address the requirements of users, for each type of technique, on the achievement of improvements in the following KPIs: ergonomic, power supply, size, weight, user interface characteristics, portability, sensitivity, low LODs, robustness, and maintenance.
Based on this knowledge we discussed the most important technical features for the design of a general collective protective system. However, we must keep in mind that for different applications we can find numerous variations and that a process of design sophistication is needed if we want to address users' needs in the best possible way. However, for the future, we can expect progress in the following areas: Standardisation of equipment; Fielding of technology improvements.
Hence the conclusion is that it is indeed useful to conduct research in the directions brought forward by users of SAR technology.

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