The REACT project involves the project consortium working with the Irish Dublin Fire Brigade to develop a system that will ensure constant and reliable communication for exchange of real-time information between deployed emergency response personnel and its relevant command centre during a crisis or disaster situation.
The REACT project proposes to address the limitation of the current dependence on mobile technology by developing a hybrid solution for the emergency services that intelligently combines the usage of mobile and satellite communication for transmission of information. The system will be designed for use not only in rural areas where standard mobile communication may be limited or unavailable but also during a major crisis when standard networks are overloaded.
The major objectives of the REACT system are as follows:
Key issues affecting the development of the system have been identified to be the following:
Some of the expected major benefits of the REACT system are:
The key features of the REACT system include:
The selected architecture agreed for the baseline design review is to provide a means of communication between the incident response vehicle and the command and control centre even when ground based communication isn’t available. The selected architecture provides a balance between functionality required by the Dublin Fire Brigade and cost of deployment/usage. The architecture consists of a ‘star’ topology in backup mode using a VSAT network. The backup mode allows for communication to continue between the incident response vehicle and the command and control centre even if the land line between the Network Operator Centre and the Command and Control centre is disabled. A graphical overview of the architecture is shown below:
The REACT project is divided into five distinct phases, which are:
The REACT project has completed its first stage during which a set of user were captured and agreed with end users. End users range from scene commanders, command and control centre personnel, incident scene vehicle engineers, DFB IT personnel and government department representatives. Based upon the captured user requirements, system requirements were derived. System design and software development activities were conducted and completed.
With regards to the satellite telecommunication service that will provide enhanced data connectivity to the Incident Response Vehicle (IRV), a Ka-band based satellite telecommunication service was preferred over the initially proposed Ku-band. Avanti was selected to provide the Ka-band satellite broadband service via the HYLAS 1 satellite. The HYLAS 1 satellite includes a Ka-band spot beam that supports complete coverage of Ireland.
The REACT project is currently completing the system deployment stage whose major activities include:
The System Demo Acceptance milestone was completed and the pilot period is ongoing. This pilot stage assesses the benefits of the REACT system for the Dublin Fire Brigade encompassing both usages during standard training exercises and during major SEVESO site emergency simulations.