Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Charter activation brings space dimension to European emergency exercise

13.04.2005


Full-scale disaster is breaking out in France – in the form of a simulated accident around which a major European civil protection exercise is planned. Just as in a real emergency, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is being activated so rescue teams will receive satellite images of the disaster zone .

It begins with a train derailment, and then the situation gets worse. Train wagons of fuel begin to burn, the fire spreading to pressurised tanks of liquefied gas until one of them explodes violently, even as a passenger train is stopped nearby. Secondary fires reach wagons of hazardous chemicals giving rise to toxic and corrosive fumes that emanate past nearby houses. Casualties are being poisoned as well as seriously burned…

The EURATECH 2005 exercise is occurring between 10 and 14 April at the town of Portes-lès-Valence in the French department of Drôme. Its name is short for ’European Technological Accident ’.



A large number of different French groups are participating in EURATECH, including the town and prefecture authorities, railway operator SNCF, local and regional fire services, the police and National Gendarmerie, the Ministry of the Interior and the French Army.

The exercise scenario has been designed to be sufficiently serious to justify activation of the European mechanism of mutual cooperation in civil protection. So additional rescue teams will be mobilised from Belgium, Germany and Italy, coordinated by the European Commission’s Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) in Brussels, which has been providing active assistance during disasters for the last three years.

Within France the emergency response will be coordinated from the Interior Ministry’s COGIC centre (centre opérationnel de gestion interministérielle des crises) in Asnières near Paris. It is from COGIC that the request for the activation of the Charter on Space and Major Disasters is made. The request is passed to the on duty engineer at ESA, who analyses it and passes it on to Charter members to take action.

Both the French space agency CNES and the German Aerospace Centre DLR are participating in EURATECH 2005, making SPOT 5 and IKONOS satellite imagery available. Once the images are acquired they will be transmitted to the Strasbourg-based firm SERTIT for processing and interpretation before delivery to COGIC.

Serving as they increasingly do in real emergencies, high-resolution satellite images provide up-to-date maps of buildings, roads and railways for planning responses to a disaster and carrying out rapid damage assessment.

The EURATECH 2005 exercise begins on 10 April, with the two-day simulated disaster officially commencing on the morning of 12 April. Part of the aim of EURATECH 2005 is to showcase the benefit of European institutions to the continent’s citizens, and the exercise concludes with a daylong seminar on setting-up of a European civil protection rapid reaction force.

France’s Minister of the Interior Dominique de Villepin will attend the exercise and welcome high level officials from other countries and the European Commission.

ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain is due to address the seminar on how the Global Monitoring and Environment and Security (GMES) initiative of ESA and the European Union to develop an independent global monitoring capability has the potential to assist such an organisation, along with current Agency work on satellite telecommunications for disaster relief.

This latter subject is also being convened at the French Senate in Paris on April 29, 2005 jointly by the Agency and the French Civil Protection Agency.

The Charter on Space and Major Disasters

The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters represents a joint effort by global space agencies to put resources at the service of rescue authorities responding to major natural or man-made disasters. To date the Charter has been activated more than 70 times.

Following the UNISPACE III conference held in Vienna, Austria in July 1999, the Charter was initiated by ESA and CNES, with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Other members include the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Argentine Space Agency (CONAE) and the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA), with the United Nations as a ’cooperating body’.

Simonetta Cheli | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEM041W797E_environment_0.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>