The AIRBEAM project proposes a situation awareness toolbox for the management of crisis over wide area taking benefit of an optimised set of aerial (unmanned) platforms, including satellites.
The number of unmanned air- and space-borne platform available and their associated sensors present a new set of challenges to end users involved in the effective management of emergencies and actions of law enforcement.
Within the scope of crisis management, the project intends to provide official public users from each Member State with the means to specify their own needs and to assess the technical solutions provided by unmanned aerial platforms.
Through intense collaboration between industrial partners, stakeholders and end users, AIRBEAM will define an ambitious yet realistic concept of use.
By running scenarios that will be properly selected and defined by the end-users within the project in a simulated environment, the increased capabilities for situation awareness will be assessed methodically. Various platform and sensor mixes will be compared using key performance indicators among which is cost effectiveness.
Live demonstrations with multiple civil unmanned aerial platforms will complete these ground simulation exercises in demonstrating to end users the potential and maturity of the coordinated use of multiple platforms.
Satellites and balloons for security
Developing innovative security systems has become increasingly important in Europe. An EU-funded project is testing the use of unmanned platforms such as balloons and satellites for this purpose.
The 'Airborne information for emergency situation awareness and monitoring' (AIRBEAM) project includes 21 partners and 3 third parties from 11 countries. Small and large companies, research organisations, universities, stakeholders and end users are part of the collaboration.
Project objectives are to demonstrate the availability of unmanned platform solutions for security purposes; provide an integrated framework for crisis management in medium- to large-scale areas; develop accompanying technological components; and assess the potential of these services. In addition, the project plans to assist the emerging market of civilian remotely piloted aircraft systems and convince regulatory stakeholders that this technology is ready for widespread use.
Focusing on a multi-platform approach, the project intends to develop a modular architecture to optimise the use of available systems. Investigators are also assessing the potential of a sensor suite and communications assets. A situation awareness toolbox being developed will heighten sensitivity to potential security problems.
To date, AIRBEAM has set up a baseline for the project and prepared a project management plan, which has been approved. Another key project deliverable is the design of a communications architecture. The team is basing its design on the Mission Management and Exploitation (MME) centre. The advantage of MME is that it is connected to aerial platform systems or satellite observation services, as well as to end-user systems.
The project will culminate with demonstrations at multiple locations. These simulation exercises will showcase the potential and value of coordinated use of multiple platforms.