The importance of early warning of the presence of hazardous gases is of paramount importance for the safety of First Responders (FRs) and their operations. The gas sensor (Alpes Lasers & TUW) to be demonstrated within the INGENIOUS project needs to warn users in a simple and efficient manner. The sensor tested is truly portable and lightweight (less than 0.5 kg) and easy to use as its interface includes only a power button and an LED indicator. The system transmits the measured values of the two targeted gasses to the INGENIOUS platform enabling the users to be notified where exposure to hazardous conditions.

During the 2nd round of the INGENIOUS Small Scale Tests (SSTs) and SST#11, which was held on 26-28 September 2022 at Ertzaintza training facilities in Iurreta, Bilbao, Spain, the sensor was connected to the INGENIOUS Common Operational Picture – COP (STWS) platform, successfully transmitting data on the presence of the two gasses (carbon monoxide and ammonia). Then, the sensor was carried by one operator (first responder) in remote areas where mockup conditions were set, e.g., the presence of smoke (which contain small amounts of carbon monoxide) and small amounts of ammonia vapors originated from a spill of ammonia dilute solution. The sensor was able to: a) successfully detect the targeted gasses, b) transmit the measurements wirelessly to the INGENIOUS COP platform, c) be carried around conveniently by the FRs, d) operate for more than one hour. Importantly, the use of the sensor was evaluated positively by the end users and useful feedback was provided.

End Users experience

Our partners in PSNI have been part of the INGENIOUS Project as an end user partner since the beginning. Observing how the tools have developed over this period has been really insightful and being able to work alongside technical partners to develop our requirements into functioning tools that will not only assist FRs but also save lives. 

In SST#11 in Bilbao, PSNI’s primary focus was on the gas sensor and its usability. Testing this, they identified some excellent performance points around how it communicates with the Fusion Engine (EXUS), Expert Reasoning (CERTH) and the COP (STWS) to provide exceptional situational awareness for Commanders. The fact that all these systems work together to illustrate hazardous zone areas with measurable gas values would be invaluable to assess the threat, risk and harm to responders and allow for real time decisions to be made at the tactical and strategic level. PSNI was also in a position to recommend adjustments and additions which would make this tool unique in the market. Although this was the primary focus for PSNI, they also got to experience a number of other tools and identify how these would assist Police at all levels of Command. 

Overall, PSNI was impressed with the level of situational awareness provided to both responders and commanders through these innovations.

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