The KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence (CoE) at the University of Cyprus is coordinating a new EU funded project, SWIFTERS. The project aims to assist civil and maritime operations to effectively use (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) UAV swarms for the prevention and response to emergency situations. The project is funded by the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection and is a continuation of the work conducted during the PREDICATE project.

 

The PREDICATE project has successfully introduced the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) as a valuable tool in preventing different types of disasters and proved the great potential of UAVs in emergency management. The project demonstrated the use of standalone UAVs for watch-keeping and patrolling regions of interest in order to enhance the disaster prevention capabilities of civil protection and other relevant authorities.

 

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Building upon these results, SWIFTERS will deliver an open-source licensed software package, featuring emergency operation planning capabilities enabled by UAV swarms, such as task allocation to individual UAVs of the swarm (e.g., monitoring emergency event progress, identifying stranded survivors, marking the evacuation path, etc.). In addition, valuable training material and standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being developed through SWIFTERS to help organizations to utilize the technology. The consortium partners (3 Civil Protection organizations and 2 Research Institutes) and other interested parties will be able master their skills on UAV operations and the automated features of the SWIFTERS technology.The SOPs will also help achieve efficient and effective management of emergency operations utilizing the technology developed in this project.

 

The project will first identify the needs of UAV swarms in emergency missions, and review the current state-of-the-art UAV technologies. Based on the analysis of these needs, the project will design and develop effective and robust swarm algorithms which will be employed to efficiently automate cooperative UAV operations in emergency situations. The implemented solution will be tested in specific realistic scenarios in the lab and then demonstrated to the end-user partners in operational environments, in order to obtain feedback for the enhancement and improvement of the implemented solutions.

 

The project consortium comprises of the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence as the Coordinator, the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA - the advisory, research and consulting body of the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction) in Greece, the German Aerospace Center (the national aeronautics and space research centre of the Federal Republic of Germany), the Cyprus Civil Defence, and the Civil Protection of the Region of Sardinia in Italy, as partners.

 

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The project has received funding from the European Union Civil Protection Call for proposals 2017 for prevention and preparedness projects in the field of civil protection and marine pollution under grant agreement – 783299 – SWIFTERS.