State-of-the-art digital technology for European crisis management
TRIAL Austria, the last of the four crisis management trials conducted as part of the EU-funded project DRIVER+, took place in the region of Eisenerz, Styria, from 12 to 14 September. In this final trial, Austrian communications solutions for crisis and disaster management were deployed in a fictitious earthquake disaster scenario. This major exercise was organised and conducted by the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology in close coordination with the Austrian Red Cross.
The Trial investigated the best possible support for stakeholders in crisis and disaster management (CDM). The test scenario postulates a heavy earthquake in central Austria registering 6.8 on the Richter scale, with subsequent heavy rains and increasing numbers of missing persons and casualties, collapsed buildings, blocked roads and endangered industries. Following a call for applications, various solutions were selected for the exercise. Over 3 days their feasibility were tested in the scenario in Eisenerz. The exercise involved all national emergency response organisations (Red Cross, Fire Brigade, Police and Army) as well as international rescue teams.
AIT is the Austrian specialist for cutting-edge command & control communication solutions, and presented its digital application CROWDTASKER. The acceptability and efficiency of this software has already been successfully demonstrated in Murau during a disaster management exercise held together with the province of Styria, civilian and military institutions and volunteer organisations at the end of 2018. CROWDTASKER helps to integrate support staff and local volunteers in the CDM while supporting real-time communication between this group and the emergency personnel who issue the various search and rescue tasks. It also provides a real-time operational picture of the stricken area in order to facilitate efficient operational planning and decision making.
Information on further solutions from DRIVER+ partners evaluated during the Trial Austria are described in the press releases available for download on this page.
Austrian portfolio of solutions for European crisis and disaster management
From the beginning, the Crisis and Disaster Management team at the AIT Center for Digital Safety & Security has taken a holistic approach in order to overcome interoperability problems stemming from the variety of standalone IT applications used by different emergency organisations. Working in close cooperation with the Austrian public authorities, the regional warning centres and the Austrian Red Cross, in recent years the Center for Digital Safety & Security has developed a comprehensive portfolio of modern crisis and disaster management solutions.
The technological cornerstones of the digital CDM communications platform developed by AIT include a common information sharing environment for the command & control area (C2) of emergency personnel in charge of disaster management, with a special focus on seamless information exchange between military and civilian IT systems; a mobile application (CROWDTASKER) which allows interaction with volunteers, directing their involvement in an efficient national crisis and disaster management system; and UAV and land-based robotic survey analysis systems which provide a real-time operational picture of the situation in the danger zone, e.g. contaminated areas, serving to greatly improve the safety of rescue personnel. The platform also includes advanced sensor networks and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies which are already being used around the globe to monitor environmental parameters, for example on construction sites (dust and noise pollution), for managing industrial contamination (radioactive and chemical pollutants), for safety-related sectors (preventative measures to combat natural disasters such as flooding, forest fires and other hazards), as well as for traffic control (pollution-based traffic management) and urban planning.
More information about AIT´s CDM portfolio can be found here.
Media coverage (German)
- Futurezone: Österreich übt Katastrophenschutz mit Digitaltechnologien
- APA Science: Steirische Erdbebenübung - High Tech hilft und führt Einsatzkräfte
- APA Science: Modernste Digitaltechnik für den Europäischen Katastrophenschutz
- ServusTV: Katastrophen-Szenario: Eisenerz probt den Ernstfall
- Computerwelt: Modernste Digitaltechnik für den Europäischen Katastrophenschutz
- MeinBezirk.at: Gemeinsame Großraumübung nach dem Erdbeben
- BMI.gv.at: Katastrophenschutzübung "Ironore2019" in der Steiermark
- Antenne Steiermark: Schweres Erdbeben schockt Eisenerz!
- ORF.at: Wenn in der Steiermark die Erde bebt
- Heute: In der Steiermark wird der Ausnahmezustand geprobt
- Kleine Zeitung Steiermark: Erdbeben in Eisenerz: "Kein Spielplatz, sondern gute Vorbereitung"
- New Business Magazin: Ironore2019: Digitalisierung für den Katastrophenschutz
- Report.at: Command & Control
Michael W. Mürling
Marketing & Communications
Center for Digital Safety &Security
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
T +43 664 235 17 47
The Eisenerz-Trial of the DRIVER+ project took place on 12-14 September 2019 in the Austrian region of Styria, gathering participants from all over Europe including local civil protection practitioners and volunteers, solution providers, observers, press and project partners. The objective of the Trial was to identify and test innovative crisis management solutions to improve the management and monitoring of volunteers in a crisis situation. Have a look at a brief summary of the disaster control exercise and a review on the innovative and digital communication solutions used.