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 Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics
23.04.2018 | Boston University College of Engineering

nachricht Researchers achieve HD video streaming at 10,000 times lower power
20.04.2018 | University of Washington

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>