Laboratory Integration and Testing of INGENIOUS COP/C3 Platform and Multilingual Service (LIT#9 & LIT#18)
The INGENIOUS development process has deployed an agile and participatory process that brings First Responders (FRs) as equals in the implementation process throughout the entirety of the project. Co-design, early testing and validation of the project will ensure that INGENIOUS will deliver robust and effective tools to the first responders with minimum effort and resources.
In our approach, as soon as the project development reaches specific milestones, we bring regularly the project results in front of end-users. Through Laboratory Integration Tests (LITs) we validate and obtain critical feedback about the features and the progress of the whole system. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, our initial testing was held in a remote access environment to assess the first user acceptability of several features including a) User & Resource management, Incident Management and Collaboration, as well as, the depiction on a map of the complete operational picture.
The INGENIOUS COP/C3 platform
During LIT#9, which was held in November 2020, the attendants had the opportunity to get a first picture of the COP/C3 Platform of the INGENIOUS Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT) by seeing some of its core functionalities in action. The early user feedback was positive on functionalities for User Management as it is designed to enable many departments and teams to share data with each other to augment FR operations and make them more efficient. The demonstration included the role-based access rights for critical situations. Allowing different teams and departments to work on different parts of the data without interfering with one another. Moreover, each user role provided only with specific access to what they needed and what they are best at, so their work could be done more efficiently and effectively.
Additionally to the user management features, participants provided their feedback on the resource management functionalities for reducing operational inefficiencies. The LIT presented a series of solutions to challenges collected during the requirements collection phase of the project. User assessed the resource management approach which approached the challenges with objective-based solutions to enable more accurate planning of FR operation and utilize resources more effectively.
The input on the resource management approach was important to facilitate how first responders’ organizations react to incidences. The INGENIOUS system enables FR to connect and collaborate with other teams, and have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what. Users were presented with INGENIOUS platform incidence management features that provided a central location for a complete operational picture (single source of truth approach), related to incidents, including alerts, communications, tasks, data sources and more. All the information was presented in a map-centric interface that enabled FR to see all of the collected data and operational information for the given locations. This user interface approach enabled the tracking of assets on a global level.
The INGENIOUS Multilingual Operations Application
Furthermore, during the LIT#9 the functionality of the Multilingual Operations App (MOA) was presented to users. The MOA does speech to speech translation to allow the collaboration of FR teams from different countries. The functionality was presented through a web interface that does the speech to speech translation from Spanish to English. The current limitations of general domain systems were shown up and the way that the system should be adapted to FR’s specific needs was discussed with users.
The next steps
The technical testing and deployment of the COP system concluded with several important insights which will be included in the subsequent refinement of the user interfaces. Furthermore, users suggested novel functionalities that will be included in the future versions of the INGENIOUS COP/C3 Platform. The project will proceed with the integration of the COP/C3 Platform with the NGIT (partial integration already implemented). The MOA will evolve to a Telegram bot, that will allow FR’s on advanced control posts, to perform voice communication using a smartphone, sending messages in their own language and receiving translated messages from other teams. Finally, both the MOA and the COP/C3 platform will be integrated so that the system will log all the communications in the Telegram channel.
2nd Round of LITs
The LIT#18 took place virtually on the 21rst of April 2021. The objective was to show the current development of the COP/C3 platform and the Multilingual Operations App (MOA). During the Laboratory Test, the end users were informed of the current development of both tools with a live demonstration. The Multilingual Application App, developed by UPF, and the COP, developed by STWS, will be connected for the integration tests that will be held, this time on site, in October 2021.
During the LIT the users could see how the emergencies can be managed and supervised from the COP. This management includes the pre-definition of the available resources (personnel, k9 and devices), the creation of an emergency with the supervision of the resources assigned to it and monitoring of their location and status over the map along with other related information (Alerts, Tweets etc.) that synthesize the common operational picture of the emergency. The demonstration of the MOA was done using a preliminary version of the Telegram bot that is used to integrate the services into any smartphone, showing how the multilingual channel automatically transcribes and translates all messages sent to it and spread the corresponding version to each user. The feedback received from the users was positive with minor comments.