Strengthened Responders

Strengthened Responders

DRIVER also deals with professional responders. Part of the project’s responsibility is to assess the potential operational benefits of innovative solutions for professional responders with a focus on Situation Assessment, Coordination and Support (including volunteers, airborne sensors and logistics). It relates to a large extent to the world of Command and Control (C2) systems.

The following topics are covered by the work undertaken using the experimentation test-bed:

  • Situation assessment tools: Aims at improving the capabilities of the responders in terms of situation assessment, prediction and early warning on different levels (operational, tactical and strategic) in the various dimensions of Crisis Management (equipment, society, health, security, transport) within and between member states.
  • Tasking and resource management tools: Aims at improving the responders' capabilities in terms of logistics, tasking and resource management. This is achieved by promoting, during both the preparation and response phases, the cooperation and interoperability between organisations and the pooling and sharing of resources. This cooperation has to take into consideration the different regional levels (from local to trans-national), the different levels of command and different types of organisations (e.g. fire services, civil security, public health, police) that may be involved in an EU crisis scenario.
  • Secured interoperability tools: Aims at tearing down the barriers of information exchange within the responders' community at all levels. It will rely on the choices of standards made at the architecture level.
Figure: Cross-border interoperability

The assessment of the potential operational benefits is performed through a scenario-based experimentation process, which compares the proposed new approach to the legacy systems currently used. The analysis of the results is based on quantitative measures as well as on qualitative feedback from players and external evaluators. The following solutions are being tested:

  • Airborne sensors
  • Common Operational Picture
  • Interaction with citizens and volunteer management
  • Cross Border Coordination
  • Logistics
  • Damage and needs assessment
  • Situation dynamics and early warning
  • Interoperability

The tested solutions are provided by linking together a set of software tools (mostly command and control - C2 tools), including legacy ones, interconnected and operated as a system-of-systems. This is facilitated by the adoption of a Common Information Space (CIS), based on the Crisis Management standards EMSI (Emergency Management Shared Information), CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) and EDXL-DE (Emergency Data Exchange Language) which offers some ‘publish and subscribe’, and routing services for messages exchange between the various systems. Some of the experimentation process is supported by simulation and each activity involves at least one of the DRIVER platforms.

These experimentations will be followed by three “transverse experiments”, the objectives of which are to prepare respectively the Joint Experiments and the Final Demonstration by integrating and experimenting a larger interconnected system-of-systems.

Volunteer management will involve real volunteers, C2 experiments will be mostly tabletop exercises, airborne sensors has involved actual flights, and parts of the logistics experimentation will be based on a interactive workshop.

Top left picture © THW