On May 17, 2021 a joint “Forest Fire 2021” drill took place involving the Schweinfurt Integrated Control Centre of the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) and ZKI. Using various real-world response scenarios relating to the “forest fire” issue, staff of the Integrated BRK Control Centre in Schweinfurt underwent training in assessing the need for remote-sensing-based disaster information and subsequent activation procedures. An essential goal of the exercise was to practice and optimize the hands-on utilization of a checklist that had been developed on the possible application of earth observation data and the appropriate communication sequences. In the case of a positive evaluation, special attention was also given to the map products that are made available and to technological developments expected in the near future.
As part of the “Forest Fire 2021” activation drill, participants from the Schweinfurt Integrated Control Centre gained practical experience with the support that can be provided by remote sensing services in large scale emergencies. Source: BRK
“It is frequently the case that the requesting authorities have little knowledge of the time required to produce the data products and whether they would be useful in carrying out the response operations,” explains Uwe Kippnich, coordinator of safety measures research at BRK. The checklist and the training of the control centre staff is intended to produce a better understanding of remote sensing technology and thus expedite its practical integration into operations.
For many years ZKI and BRK have been testing the use of the latest remote sensing technologies to support BRK emergency responders, both in the framework of research projects and in cases of urgent need. For example, during IRONORE 2019, a large-scale European preparedness exercise in Austria, BRK was able to successfully test new 3D map products for mission planning during major deployments abroad as well as the provision of remote support for the relief effort from someone at an integrated control centre.
In the DLR in-house project “Optimised Assessment Procedures”, financed by the safety-research program coordination department, ZKI is also currently working on new, web-based (3D)-visualizations to improve access to relevant information. Digital platforms offer the potential to bring together diverse information (heterogenous data, different data sources), as shown in the example below for a forest fire near the town of Lübtheen. The user is supported in his effort to deal with a variety of information types by expanded possibilities of interaction and new forms of visualization. This makes optimized, data-driven decision support possible.
New product formats make efficient information management possible and improve access to and understand of heterogenous information. Source: DLR-ZKI
“Good collaboration with BRK makes it possible for us to test our products in practice and to obtain direct feedback from our users“, explains Elisa Schröter, ZKI scientist and in charge of the “Forest Fire 2021” exercise. “This is extremely important for the ongoing further development of our requirement-driven services.”