The Small Scale Test #13 (SST #13) of the INGENIOUS project tested and evaluated the INGENIOUS K9 vest (ICCS) during the search of victims in damaged buildings which are too dangerous for entering for the first responders.

The main application for the K9 vest in the damaged building scenario is the search for victims in partly destroyed or unstable buildings which are too dangerous for the first responders. In these cases, the first responders can´t follow the dogs inside the building and the dog search has to be autonomous by the dog. Without the K9 vest, the dog handlers can´t control if the dog searched the whole building. With the cameras and the microphone/loudspeaker the dog handler can control the dog remotely and evaluate if the whole building was searched. This is also possible in dark buildings because of the thermal camera.

The thermal camera of the K9 vest is meant to facilitate the location of human bodies that might be visually obscured through detecting their body heat. To achieve this the thermal camera was configured to display a high contrast between the temperatures of a human body and ambient heat sources.

The main requirement was that a human body is distinguishable from a distance of 50m. A series of tests were performed with human bodies detected at various distances and separated from low ambient heat (low temperature masonry) and hot ambient heat sources (metal surfaces under direct sunlight).

Cold Ambient temperature, no human presence
Hot Ambient Temperature, no human presence
Human Body detected at 25m
Human body detected at 50m

During SST #13 the K9 vest was tested and evaluated successfully by classified K9 dogs from ERTZ during a one-day test on the 26th of September 2022. Dog handlers from PSNI and ISAR Germany participated in the K9 vest too. The SST was held in the ERTZ facility “Brigada Movil” in the City of Bilbao (Basque Country). Within the SST #13 different scenarios with different environmental conditions (dark, clear view, different type of buildings) were tested and evaluated by ERTZ, PSNI and ISAR Germany dog handlers in relevant conditions. 

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