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 Defining the backbone of future mobile internet access
21.07.2017 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation
20.07.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>