SECTOR at DOMINO II

The DOMINO II workshop “Cascading Effects”, held in Tiel from September the 20th till the 21st 2016, has ended with a successful result for the SECTOR project. Practitioners were fond of the SECTOR objectives and warmly welcomed the idea of having an easy way to share information among currently existing crisis management systems, but let’s go step-by step…

DOMINO II has been organized by the Dutch First Responder platform IFV with the purpose of setting-up a joint research and development event about crisis information management during incidents with cascading effects. Several FP7 project representatives were present including FORTRESS, SECTOR, CIPRNet, PREDICT, CASCEFF, with the intention of knowledge sharing, demonstrating the results to the first responders and obtaining feedback from them. Two full immersion days were dedicated to share the results and ideas with practitioners in order to improve project results.

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A dedicated “knowledge sharing workshop” was held on the first day with the scope of:

  • summing up empirical findings, recommendations and policies for enhancing resilience against cascading effects,
  • exchanging findings between projects on experiences of approaches to enhance resilience,
  • analysing current developed decision support tools,
  • identifing existing gaps not yet faced by FP7 European projects.

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During the morning each FP7 project had a short project presentation useful to understand each project application context and state of the art. Dr. F. Daffinà (EGEOS), technical manager in SECTOR, had a great high-level presentation of the SECTOR project introducing to the audience its objectives and current findings. In the afternoon, Dr. M. Fiorentino (CINI) continued presenting the detailed SECTOR architecture with the support of Dr. Y. Semet (THALES) who introduced SECTOR decision support capabilities by exploring and sharing concepts related to the value added service SECPLAN. A strong focus has been given to the interoperability capabilities and the information exchange via SECTOR analysing one of the main architectural findings: the “IBX – Interoperability Box”. The audience was fascinated by the easiness to develop and deploy approach that has been designed by technical partners for IBXs realization. The concept is as short as simple: easy and fast information sharing. The session was really helpful to discover similarities and find synergies to be exploited among FP7 projects. Dr. F. Pérez (UPV), on behalf of the SECTOR technical team, got in contact with the FORTRESS to explore ways of geo-referenced data integration between the two projects using common OGC WMS/WMF standards.

The second day was extremely practical: the organization set-up a real-life cross-border and cross-sectorial flooding exercise to be acted and managed by practitioners. Basically, the scenario  stipulated that after a winter with unusual frosts and even more snowfall in the Alps and Germany, the weather turns for the worse. Extreme showers have been pouring down in the Rhine valley area. The Rhine water level is raising rapidly while the level at Lobith have risen to the level of National Sea Level (NAP) + 17 m. The scope of the exercise was to understand the value added capabilities offered by the FP7 European projects’ results for facing such events. For a better understanding of the context and the real environment in which practitioners use to work , the organization let projects’ representatives conduct a visit to the Tiel’ Safety Region Command and Control centre.

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The exercise was divided into two phases: the first one relied on practitioners responding to the flooding crisis with the current IT tools, e.g. LCMS and LIWO and the second one, in which the same scenario was acted with the support of the European FP7 projects’ prototypes. For boosting the discussion between practitioners and tech teams, the organization proposed two main dilemmas to be faced:

  • Dilemma A: the cross border element is strengthened by the need to collaborate to mitigate effects together. For this purpose, the effects of power break down were introduced.
  • Dilemma B: the cross border element is further supported by the need for mutual aid in the case of a large escalation. The crisis situation will lead to a request for help from the neighbouring German teams.

Practitioners were free to ask questions to technical teams and vice-versa. The tech team, with the support of Dr. Peter de Brujin (SSV – active end-user of the project), was able to provide a simulation of the SECTOR information sharing and decision support capabilities via real crisis management systems deployed in the container. Systems such as EDEN, Google Crisis Map, Q-GIS with InaSafe, LCMS and the WebGIS have been used to support demonstration activities. An active SECTOR node has been deployed in the containers to boost real-time information sharing. At the end of the demonstration different topics were faced and end-users’ recommendations for the SECTOR tech team can be sum-up as follows:

  • Understand how it could be possible to support multi-language information sharing
  • Improve the capabilities of the SECTOR platform giving the possibility of rating the information in terms of its trustability (who has published the information? Can we trust it?)
  • Improve semantic interoperability by extending the SECTOR taxonomy via NIEM extensions
  • Find a common standard for geo-referenced data iconography that results still not interoperable (each system has its own iconography)

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In conclusion, the DOMINO II event has been a very fruitful meeting that gave a chance to the SECTOR tech team to have an initial validation of the SECTOR prototype. Now it is time to come back working and be ready for the DOMINO II follow-up in May where the SECTOR consortium can have the chance to demonstrate the final SECTOR concept prototype.

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