Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Managing and mitigating disaster: new research centre to develop technologies for emergency scenarios

03.11.2005


Having vital location or map-based information at their fingertips could make the difference between life and death for rescue workers and emergency services working at the scene of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

A research centre is being launched at The University of Nottingham to look at how the latest advances in computer software and mobile communications could help agencies to prepare for a major event, such as the 2012 Olympic Games, and plan their response should a disaster or incident occur.

In emergency situations, professionals have to make tough, on-the-spot decisions on how to deal with a range of issues, whether it be when to evacuate homes, how to get commuters home when public transport is out of action or how to get the injured to life-saving medical treatment.



In dealing with these challenges, it is essential that people are able to access information on, for example, which flood barriers are likely to breach first, which roads are impassable to motorists and which hospitals have the right specialist equipment.

But problems can arise when data is held by a wide range of agencies and on different computer systems.

The Centre for Geospatial Sciences, being launched at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in London on Monday November 21, brings together leading experts in geographic information technology, human factors and spatial cognition and computer science.

Among the research will be work looking at how to get different specialised computer systems to ‘talk’ to one another so that huge amounts of data held by different organisations from all over the world could be accessed and analysed over the internet or via mobile devices.

Another strand will study the issue of tracking, monitoring and navigation. This includes the use of GPS in-car navigation and traffic and pedestrian modelling and management, which could be used to find the best routes from the scene of a disaster to the nearest hospital or in closing off roads around the affected area.

As part of this the researchers will be looking at how technology could be used to assist people in the use of map-based or location data. This could be used in situations like the aftermath of the July 7 bombings, which disrupted the public transport network and closed key roads, or even by personnel faced with more dangerous situations such as negotiating a way around landmines or avoiding enemy territory.

A challenge facing the research team will be how graphic information, such as maps, can be effectively communicated through mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. The technology has an enormous range of potential applications in commercial areas as well as those associated with disaster management and mitigation. For example, direct marketing offering discounts via mobile phone when shoppers pass a particular store; services that can allow friends co-ordinate via their mobile phone to choose a place to have a drink; facilities for businesses to track the location of their staff while out working in the field; the use of sensory information from mobile devices, such as the vibrate setting on a phone, to issue directions to a location.

The launch of the new centre will take the form of an inaugural seminar titled Disaster Management and Mitigation: The Role Geospatial Interoperability. Among the planned presentations will be:

  • Providing the Spatial Foundations for Major Incident Planning and Management in the UK, Dr Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and CEO, Ordnance Survey.
  • Readiness Response and Recovery: NGA’s Support to Disasters and Special Events, Dr Gregory Smith, Chief Scientist of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, USA.
  • Post-Tsunami Lessons, Dr Jerome Bequignon, Direction de la Defense et de la Securite Civiles, Ministere de Interieur, France.
  • Managing Security in an Open, Interoperable Environment, Dr Simon Stringer, MD Security, QinetiQ
  • Positioning and Tracking, Professor Terry Moore, Director of the Institute for Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG), The University of Nottingham.

Professor Mike Jackson, the director of the new centre, said: “I am hugely encouraged that the centre has attracted leading researchers from around the world to continue their research and study here at Nottingham and to address some of the research challenges so tragically brought to the fore with the natural disasters that have occurred over the last year around the world and the terrorist events which have added to the tragedies of nature.

“I am also delighted to have such eminent speakers from the USA, Europe and the UK speaking at our inaugural seminar. “

Professor Mike Jackson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>