Kongsberg Geospatial, an Ottawa-based developer of geospatial visualisation software, has concluded the final trials of a new situational awareness system for emergency airspace management.
Multiple government organisations evaluate new situational awareness platform for managing airspace and emergency response units during disaster scenarios in a project funded by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).
The trials were conducted at an abandoned airfield near Pembroke, Ontario, with the participation of different groups from Transport Canada, the National Research Council, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The trials included drones being operated by the RCMP, and the County of Renfrew Paramedics, to support several simulated emergency scenarios including a plane crash, a medical emergency, and the protection of a VIP threatened by the approach of a suspicious drone. The trials were conducted with the drones operating beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) at ranges up to 2 km.
The Emergency Operations Airspace Management System (EOAMS) – is a situational awareness display created by Kongsberg Geospatial to provide first responders with a clear picture of the airspace immediately around a disaster scene.
The system integrates real-time data from a variety of sensors, including 3D aerial radar, ground-oriented radar, ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) sensors, video feeds, and GPS trackers.
By assembling data from all these sources, the EOAMS system allows operators to track and identify a variety of emergency aircraft, and cooperating ground vehicles, while allowing first responders to safely operate UAVs, in the same airspace.
A light aircraft took part in the exercises in tandem with the drones, and was used to simulate different roles, including that of a water bomber.
The trials were conducted like standard emergency training exercises, and lead by an RCMP Incident Commander. Situational awareness drawn from the EOAMS system was used to help inform the response to each simulated incident.
“We were very pleased with the outcome of these trials,” said Paige Cutland, UAS program director at Kongsberg Geospatial.
She added: “The EOAMS system performed exactly to specification in every scenario. More importantly – in debriefs following the exercise, several participants remarked on how easy it was to interpret the information presented in the EOAMS system display, and how useful that information was to manage the first responder actions.”