PROJECT SUMMARY

 

Title of project

AUTOMATED FIRE AND FLOOD HAZARD PROTECTION SYSTEM

(AUTO-HAZARD PRO)

Problems to be solved

The project has been designed to improve the level of technological development on fire, and the resulting flood hazard, management in Europe. Since fires have regional and local detrimental effects on the environment and human life and property in rural and urban areas, improvement of the technological knowledge on this subject yields important economic and social impacts. Improvement of the scientific knowledge about technological and biophysical fire processes should minimize environmental degradation and optimize ecosystem management strategies, contribute to the design of emergency response procedures, and help to assess wildfire’s role on vegetation damage, wildlife changes and air pollution in various scales. By preserving and/or enhancing the environment and the minimum damage/conservation of nature and resources, the project improves the employment opportunities and the quality of life in the countryside and, thus, reversing the urbanization trends of rural populations.

 

Scientific objectives and approach

The objective of AUTO-HAZARD PRO is to integrate real-time and on-line fire and flood hazard management schemes into a GIS-type platform. The system will be run on an operational mode in Disasters Management Centers and in connection with local resource management agencies across hazard-prone EU areas. Specific tasks will be to develop: (i) an environmental and technological Data Base Management System, with electronic information (i.e., fire occurrence, topography, soils, weather, vegetation, land use, administrative and technical resources) and digital mapping capabilities for natural hazards/fire protection and effects mitigation, and environmental impact assessment; (ii) a Decision Support System dealing with proactive planning and emergency management of real-time fire episodes, including fuels management, socio-economic criteria, a priori risk forecasting, automatic fire detection and optimal resource dispatching. Collection, input, storage, management and analysis of the information depends on advanced and automated methodologies using remote sensing, GPS, digital mapping and GIS. Development of the prototype system will be accomplished on 3 study areas in Greece and Spain, with the potential to later encompass whole regions of EU countries on operational basis.

 

Expected impacts

The system will be supported by an operational weather forecasting system that will supply regular 72-hour weather forecasts and, in addition, down-scaled forecasts in the areas of interest. Field sensors of autonomous fire detection will be linked to the operation’s center within AUTO-HAZARD PRO, where the alarm signal will be evaluated to stimulate proper responses. Short-term dynamic fire and flood danger indices will be developed for better and realistic prevention and pre-suppression planning. Proactive development of such information infrastructure, with the use of computers and the integration of ground and satellite technologies, will assist not only in fire prevention and post-fire rehabilitation planning, but also during a fire outbreak using fire growth simulation models for prompt resource dispatching, initial attack and effective damage mitigation.


 

THE CONSORTIUM

Partner #1: University of the Aegean, Mytilene, Greece. – [UAEG] (Coordinator)

Partner #2: Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications, Athens, Greece. – [IASA]

Partner #3: G. Karavokyris & Partners Consulting Engineers, Ltd. Athens, Greece. – [GKP]

Partner #4: TECNOMA SA, Madrid, Spain. – [TECNOMA]

Partner #5: Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, Physics and Electronics Laboratory, Hague, Netherlands. – [TNO]

Partner #6: Carlos III University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain. – [UCIIIM]

Partner #7: Space Imaging Europe SA, Athens, Greece – [SIE