In events of disaster, a clear understanding of the situation by the First Responders (FRs) is critical for good decision making. However, during these very dynamic situations, the enormous amount of information can become a handicap and restrain effective decisions.  INGENIOUS is following a unified approach, where information collected from the different INGENIOUS Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT) modules is shared with FRs on a “need to know basis”. Through the Enhanced Common Operational Picture ECOP (Satways) module, FRs are receiving the right information at the right time, enabling them to take the right actions at critical moments.      

During the 2nd round of the Small-Scale Tests (SSTs), which took place from the 26th to the 29th of September 2022, in Bilbao, Spain, Satways tested the Enhanced Common Operational Picture (ECOP) along with the rest of the INGENIOUS modules, such as the Multilingual Operations Application – MOA (UPF). With the disaster response expertise of APHP-SAMU, the SST#18 simulated the response and coordination after a terror attack. The role of the ECOP was to visualize all collected data for the ongoing event, on a map-based picture of the area, while the MOA translated the communications and the commands exchanged between the FRs (both on the field and on the command center), all in real-time.

The MOA provides automatic speech-to-speech translation, allowing teams from different countries to communicate with each other while using their respective native languages. This is currently achieved by sending voice messages from a mobile phone, which are then received as translated voice messages in the target language, but it could also be integrated into other communication systems (e.g. radio).

Compared to earlier tests, the speech recognition quality was significantly improved, in particular for use in noisy environments. The machine translation component now supports the injection of user-provided translations to deal with domain-specific language specific vocabulary. This allows to e.g. override the statistically learned translation from “extracción” to “mining” (which is correct in general, but not in the given context) and instead use the more appropriate “extraction”.

This SST#18 gave the opportunity to the FRs involved to evaluate the demonstrated components by testing them in a real-life scenario emergency. They were mainly asked to rate each component’s performance and state their satisfaction after using them.

Overall, the end-users seemed to be very satisfied with the solutions. They were able, among other things, to attend the demonstration of the new integrations of the COP platform, such as video streaming, or gas sensors. The latter make it possible to visualise on a map the areas evaluated, in the form of squares to which a color code is applied (linked to the quantity of gas detected). They were able to discuss and provide their comments, in this example concerning the size of the squares, which should be as small as possible, in order to report with as much finesse as possible, the detection of gases. 

Overall, they claimed that both the ECOP and MOA are very innovative tools, easy to use, and that they include useful functions for the FRs. They also claimed that the tools are very helpful and efficient in handling a demanding situation successfully. The conclusions drawn from this exercise were of great use for the partners for the preparation for the final Full Scale eXercise (2nd FSX).

Read about the results from the 1st round of SSTs and SST#9 for the testing and validation of the INGENIOUS Common Operational Picture and Multilingual Operations App here.

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