Multipurpose Ital-GovSatCom application Services for Emerging user Needs and Objectives

In the frame of the ‘Space Economy’ Strategic Plan and in particular that of “Mirror GovSatCom” program aimed at creating a geostationary satellite telecommunication system for institutional uses, extended also to civil uses, whose main innovative features are :

  • Safe and reliable communication
  • High availability and scalability (pooling and sharing)
  • Reconfigurable spot coverage, with emphasys to the Mediterranean Sea
  • User service characterized by:
    • Fixed Localization (Fixed Communication / VSAT)
    • Mobility (Communication on The Move – COTM)
    • Relocability (Communication on break – COTP)

Basing on these guidelines and on Ital-GovSatCom system characteristics described before, the “MISENO” subsystem aims at creating a Multipurpose Application Services Platform.

The reference context of the project

The application of MISENO project will be made available by a Service Center, which will make use of a fixed (dedicated to all remote sensing data collection and Earth Observation services) and of a mobile infrastructure ( dedicated to logistical-operational support to users) to support – through the SATCOM services made available by the new geostationary satellite, the management of Emergency and Critical scenarios in the area, starting from use cases of particular interest for the Campania Region.

This proposal arises from the need (underlined in the EU document “Satellite Communication to support EU Security Policies and Infrastructures – Final report”) to increase collaborations between the various user communities when they intervene simultaneously (civil protection, humanitarian aid, security forces and defense, ONG, …) in emergency situations.

In recent years there has been much emphasis on the availability of innovative and integrable technologies, in response to disasters resulting from terrorist attacks, but less attention has been paid to natural emergencies or other situations of territorial criticality both anthropic and natural.

The function of civil protection services is quickly evolving, accompanied by a growing demand for high speed guaranteed by satellite communications (including, for example, firefighters, security, police, …) and also with an increasing interoperability among first responders.

In addition to the need to be increasingly resilient and reliable, the issue of working  anywhere, anytime has become crucial. In this sense, some EU countries have already taken initiatives. For example, the Franco-Italian ATHENA-FIDUS project responds to these needs with very high data transmission speeds (around 3 Gbit / s). It will use civilian technologies for broadband Internet access.

An aspect particularly felt in Italy, and in particular in the territory of the Campania Region, concerns the distribution of civil protection teams / groups in the event of natural or artificial disasters.

In both situations (natural or man-made disasters), SATCOMs are fundamental: terrestrial networks are often destroyed and this can even aggravate the emergency itself. Civil Protection teams must use easily transportable and universally usable SATCOM systems.

By way of example, the United Kingdom increased its focus on SATCOMs after the 2007 floods, costing the country around £ 3 billion which deprived numerous households and businesses of terrestrial communications.

An important use of SATCOM was necessary following the earthquakes of Haiti and Fukushima (Japan), as it was necessary for numerous fires in Europe, to coordinate search and rescue.

Precisely with regard to fire fighting activities and the fight against the phenomena well known as “terra dei fuochi”, the Campania Region, through the subsidiary society SMA, has experimented with the collaboration of the National Fire Brigade, an easy-to-use integrated satellite telecommunication system with TLC networks and earth sensors.

Civil Protection stakeholders operating during a crisis must quickly target and put into operation TLC satellite terminals capable of building a local network on the theater of operations. Similar considerations can be made for emergency ambulances in the event of a local or regional accident.

The application scenarios of the project

This project proposal aims to carry out Industrial Research and Sustainable Development activities aimed at the design and development of an integrated, sustainable and intelligent Application Platform, capable of guaranteeing – permanently and quickly – an effective response to emergency management on the areas without a sufficient communications coverage and exchange of information and data.

As a pilot system, we start from the “fire”, “civil protection” and “rescue” services at regional level, thanks to the experiences already existing in Campania and taking into account the integrations with the services and structures already available in the area, such as sales regional emergency systems, DSS systems, regional agro-meteorological and fire networks, the VVF CAP system.

The pilot system demonstration activities are expected to involve a large group of stakeholders such as civil protection, firefighters, medical bodies but also other local authorities.

In addition to the scenario of falling TLC networks in the event of a disaster, it should be noted that SATCOM (mainly used as a backup for the Tetra network in many Member States) can also be used as an important communication link in some remote areas within many European regions.

For example, in the Campania region several mountain areas, particularly affected by the fire phenomena, are not covered by 3G / 4G mobile networks.

The lead proposer is MAPSAT srl which will make use of the following partners who will make up the actuator team:

  • Soft S.r.l.
  • ETT S.p.A.
  • Tecno-In S.p.A.
  • MEDINOK S.p.A.

The project team will also make use of the qualified advice of the DAC (Aerospace District of Campania), ALI (Aerospace Laboratory for Innovative components) and SAM (Mediterranean Aerospace Society). In particular, DAC will support MAPSAT in the technical-scientific direction of the Project and in the actions of connection with the institutional authority, the continuous monitoring of the development and the advancement of the technological readiness.