Location-based services (LBS)

The HARMLESS project conducted three successful tests demonstrating the use of EGNOS for emergency situations using location-based services. In 2007 the project partners demonstrated the use of EGNOS for managing fire fighters and vehicles during a forest fire. The HARMLESS test in Spain was conducted by the country’s Ingeniería y Servicios Aeroespaciales (INSA) with the support of Madrid's regional government.

The demonstration simulated a forest fire situation. GPS tracking devices capable of receiving the EGNOS signal were attached to trucks and fire fighters. Central command was then able to track humans, vehicles and risk alerts in real time and process the data using software and equipment provided by the commercial partners involved in the HARMLESS project.

The simulated test demonstrated that the use of GPS, EGNOS and Galileo would improve the surveillance and management of those fighting forest fires and increase their safety.

HARMLESS also conducted a separate test of EGNOS and Galileo in the UK that demonstrated that the systems could be used to more accurately map an area hit by a disaster, such as an earthquake or flood. MapAction, a non-governmental organisation that provides such support in emergencies, conducted the test in September 2007.

The field exercise was conducted in a derelict factory building in the West Midlands area. MapAction also conducted a second phase of the disaster response and mapping exercise in October 2007 in Singapore, alongside that country’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) unit.

More information is available here.