To be developed for the Portuguese Civil Protection department to protect its firefighting personnel, the European Space Agency’s project consists of a garment, sensor and data acquisition infrastructure, telecommunications and software:
The project will develop a service for the Portuguese Civil Protection to accurately and effectively manage the human resources on the field in near real-time, guaranteeing the service will work even when terrestrial communications are unavailable.
The service will address the need to know where each member of the force is during an emergency and their health condition, allowing replacements to be organized in a timely fashion and teams to be moved according to the operational needs of the occurrence.
I-GARMENT will develop full-bodied smart garments equipped with sensors to monitor position, vital signals (temperature and heart beat) of the agents. This information will be sent via a wireless link to Civil Protection Officers in the HQ, processed and returned to the field officers equipped with PDAs and/or TabletPCs.
The fire-fighting garment will be made with the latest and most sophisticated materials available to provided proper protection in hazardous situation, with special emphasis to user comfort and mobility.
Tightly integrated with the garment there will be an array of sensors, telecommunication, localisation, alert and processing hardware capable of collection the status and position of the fire-fighter and transmitting it wirelessly and in real time to a data collecting computer installed in local Operational Field Vehicles (OFV).
Besides providing a means to collect data from the garments, the telecommunication system will allow the data to be transmitted from the local OFV to the main servers located in the management centre. This will be carried out with the use o satellite transmission, making the data available from virtually anywhere there might be a fire situation, without the need for further communication infrastructure.
The main pieces of software to be developed are the data collecting servers and an application where both field and centre managers can analyse the data from all the fire-fighters in real-time, being able to make fast decisions based on their status and position. The application will feature geographical information data to complement the data collected from the garments.