In case of a catastrophic event such as a bombing in a subway or the wreck of a ship, a quick assessment of the situation and the awareness of the number of potential victims could improve drastically the rescue operations and help to save lives.
The ASPIS project had the ambition to fill this gap by developing a video 'black-box' able to send video sequences recorded just before the event to the rescue teams to help them in their tasks.
The objective of the ASPIS project was to overcome the drawbacks of classical, centralised surveillance by offering a prompt and wide coverage, space and time-wise, on events potentially hazardous to public safety in a cost-effective way without being excessively intrusive to the individual activities. In fact, it constitutes a very good compromise between the need for surveillance / monitoring and the respect of privacy and civil liberties of the citizens.
This innovative system is meant for the unattended surveillance of public transport (vehicles, stations), maritime transport (ferries or cruise vessels) and other public spaces. It serves primarily for the prompt and reliable situation awareness during the early, most critical emergency phase, thus greatly facilitating the overall crisis response.
The project developed a prototype surveillance system based on autonomous, smart monitoring devices that capture data only upon the occurrence of an incident, potentially dangerous for the passengers (like an explosion blast or the triggering of the fire detector). When triggered, these devices propagate the triggering to their neighbouring devices and send an alarm. Successively, they upload the captured data to the central station providing a wide (space and time-wise) coverage of the potentially hazardous incident. Finally, they provide a dedicated bi-directional communication channel between the emergency centre and the affected areas. If, for any reason, they don't succeed to establish communication, they serve as 'black boxes', preserving the data until they are physically recuperated by the authorities.
The proposed system will be modular both in terms of triggering and communication capabilities, so as to be of very wide applicability and utilise / complement any existing suitable infrastructure. A system based on blast and fire triggered monitoring devices is proposed as a pilot implementation that will prove the validity of the concept in two very different surface transport applications: a metro (or bus) network and a large ferry vessel.
The ASPIS system carries mostly economic benefits. It provides a way of reducing monitoring costs through minimal maintenance, unattended surveillance provision, modularity (only use the modules you need) and scalability (any size of fleet can be covered).
Note: at this moment (early August 2013) insufficient information has been made public on the project website.
ASPIS offers an added value for SME's as it provides a low-cost, low-maintenance unattended monitoring system of highly modular design. This allows transportation and logistic SME's to introduce it in their operations. It’s a good way to provide data about any incidents occurring within the monitored space, with a robust interface for possible triggering sensors to configure what incidents do trigger an alarm. In addition the system provides insight for post-incident investigations carried out afterwards. Possibility of integration into positioning systems, or equipping the devices with a GPS module, provides an overlook of the fleet. All these features within one system will reduce operation costs of transportation and logistic companies of all sizes, SMEs as well.
An efficient and integrated mobility system: Acting on transport safety (saving thousands of lives)