BMT has developed a mobile application to help responders safely assess hazardous situations. The system processes data captured by drones into real-time 2D and 3D maps of the scene, enabling responders to make fast, informed decisions about how to proceed.
The research project was designed to help find a way of translating data gathered by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into real-time, user-friendly maps, accessible on a mobile, tablet or desktop. It was funded through the Defence and Security Accelerator themed competition ‘autonomy in hazardous scene assessment’.
BMT collaborated with Blue Bear Systems, using their RISER unmanned aerial survey system, and with disaster risk reduction specialists Rescue Global, to develop a proof-of-concept tool which was successfully trialled in a live training exercise at the Fire Service College. The application is designed around a team of responders and can sit on any device. It utilises sensor data from small, lightweight, autonomous platforms – either commercial or specialist that are deployed to autonomously scan an environment, both inside and outside. The programme will evolve to combine advanced gas sensing technologies with other UAV platforms to allow a wider range of end users to use the tool with a view to deploying the system into the boot of the car of every responder within the next few years.
Simon Luck, Head of Information Systems and Information Assurance at BMT Defence Services comments: “Funding such as this is crucial and has enabled BMT to work with Rescue Global and Blue Bear to deliver an innovative proof-of-concept tool that enables first responders to gain rapid situational awareness of life-threatening hazards such as chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear substances. These types of projects allow us to progress vital technologies to deliver towards the wider national innovation agenda.”