Status date

DELTASS (Disaster Emergency Logistic Telemedicine Advanced Satellite System) is a space based system designed to improve the benefits and efficiency of the management of the rescue, first medical aid and emergency operations in disaster situations like earthquakes or explosions. In such situations, the existing terrestrial infrastructures could be damaged. The space systems then suitably complement partly destroyed terrestrial infrastructures to answer to the requirements of emergency healthcare services such as fast deployment of the management of the logistic and medical means or remote medical expertise.

The DELTASS system enables the mobile paramedical or medical teams to co-ordinate their medical actions towards victims, to generate and transmit localisation and medical data directly from the disaster fields to a coordination centre in an automatic and easy way, using adapted light space-backed equipment. DELTASS system allows also distant medical equipment or images manipulations and real time telediagnosis by specialised medical doctors on remote sites.


DELTASS project aimed to demonstrate the added value brought by the Space systems in the area of Telemedecine applications in particular when and where the terrestrial systems are no longer available or no longer performant. The demonstration scenarios have focused on the ability of the proposed satellite based system to provide fast and efficient services for emergency medicine.


DELTASS project proposes an operational information system adapted to the needs of disaster medicine and other medical emergency services as mountain medicine or assistance to travellers.
The DELTASS demonstration have shown the benefits of the use of space systems, particulaly in the following areas:

  • Fast and easy system deployment, in particular the deployment of the teams operating on the fields (Search and Rescue teams, First Medical Aid teams, Ambulance teams) 
  • Medical and logistic co-ordination
  • First medical data acquisition from disaster fields (low rate and medium rate data transmission) 
  • Audio communications with mobile teams (low rate data transmission) 
  • Satellite high rate communications (EUTELSAT) between the Mobile Field Hospital deployed on the disaster field and the Reference Hospital allowing:
    - Real time exchanges as videoconferencing or on-line/off-line Telediagnosis
    - Consultation of external databases
    - Interactive Telemedical services


Click here for larger image

DELTASS is based on the requirements of healthcare services in disaster situations. Its concept also covers other operational mobile applications needs.

The different components of DELTASS system are:

  • Mobile Teams (MT) - deployed on the disaster site for search, first triage and victim evacuation. They are equipped with portable telephone and PDA's and/or Portable Telemedicine Workstation (PTW) for transmission of locally recorded data to the Permanent Centre (PC) or to the Mobile Field Hospital (MFH) operators. MT's are equipped with GPS for real time localisation and data transfer to PC's and MFH's. Equipment allows phone communication between them and the PC or MFH and other hospitals. They include:

          Search And Rescue (SAR) teams

          First Medical Aid (FMA) teams

          Medical Monitoring in Ambulance teams.

  • A Permanent Centre (PC). Possibly located in a region providing humanitarian help. It receives voice and data communications from MT's, manages and redirects this to a Reference Hospital (RH) and MFH. The PC carries out co-ordination and medical functions while the MFH is deploying.


  • A Mobile Field Hospital (MFH). Deployed at disaster sites providing co-ordination of MT's on disaster site, triage, reception, first aid treatment, conditioning for transportation, management of victim evacuation, medical expertise for patients through access to external medical databases or videocon

The project was planed in 3 main phases :

  • Phase 1 from July 2001 to December 2001 : specification and design of the system overall architecture and demonstration guidelines definition with a system Review planned for the December 11th, 2001.
  • Phase 2 from December 2001 to July 2002 : subsystems detailed description, procurement, development and integration, system commissioning and validation. 2 Reviews planned for this phase : A Mid Term Review in April 2001 and the System Commissioning Review in July 2002
  • Phase 3 from July 2002 to December 2002 (Final Review): System demonstrations and Promotion day.
Current status

The system Review held on December 11, 2001 has been successfully completed. The System Commissioning Review have been held in part at CANNES on the 17 September 2002 and the other part at Toulouse on the 26 September 2002.
On the 17th September 2002, the functional tests on the telemedical services between Cannes (simulating the MFH) and Berlin (as Reference Hospital) have been shown. The link between Toulouse and Cannes via Berlin for the patient data transmission has also been tested. During the 26th September 2002 session at Cannes, the functional tests on the Mobility segment have been shown. All the tests performed during theses two Commissioning Review meetings were successfully done.

Two public demonstrations of DELTASS were performed: 

  • Demonstration of the mobility segment on the 24th of Oct. 2002 in the frame of the SITEF exhibit, in Toulouse. This demonstration has involved the fire brigade department and the Emergency medicine department of Toulouse hospital. 
  • Overall demonstration on the 7th of November 2002, at Ulm in Germany. The sites involved in this demonstration were Toulouse, Ulm and Berlin. The Mobile Field Hospital was deployed at ULM KRK-Lazareth (German Bundeswehr). The military medical staff was involved as actors in the demonstration. About 30 invited people have attended this full scale demonstration of DELTASS system in the context of a simulated earthquake situation.

These 2 demonstrations raised quite a big interest in the press, see 'related links'. 

The DELTASS project final Review held on December 17th, 2002 has been successfully completed.
The prototype system developed under DELTASS is being carried forward by the project I-DISCARE, partly funded by ESA as part of the ARTES 3 Applications Programme, with Prime MEDES. I-DISCARE is dedicated to develop and pilot the mobility segment of DELTASS with real target users under actual operational conditions, with the final goal to realise a self-sustained service platform. See the I-DISCARE web page under 'related links'.