Satellite solutions for civil protection

2 November 2006

On 24 November 2006 the second meeting of the advisory board on the ‘Action Plan on Satellite Communications for Civil Protection’ is being hosted in Vienna by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Satellite communications can offer new and efficient solutions for civil protection. To further this aim, the European Space Agency (ESA) wants to better understand the needs of the potential users – the civil protection agencies in Europe which have realised, through a variety of dramatic experiences, that it is not possible to rely solely on terrestrial communications.

Several national civil protection authorities in the European Union (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain, together with the European Commission) have formally endorsed this programmatic action focused on the use of satellite telecommunication for their operational activities. They now wish other European civil protection authorities to join them.

The aim of this advisory board is to help define a short term action plan for civil protection, provide a permanent overview of developments in civil protection satellite services worldwide, and establish a possible longer term civil protection satellite telecommunications programme jointly with ESA.

ESA has already committed € 900 000 to enable the implementation of three pilot projects over the coming year. These are designed to demonstrate different ways in which satellite systems can contribute to the operational efficiency of civil protection agencies by enhancing the capability and reliability of their existing communications systems. These projects will be reviewed in Vienna with detailed presentations.

The success of this initiative depends upon co-operation with the largest possible number of European civil protection agencies, either through their active participation in particular pilot projects or simply by them providing information to the project teams.

In this second meeting, national civil protection agencies will make presentations highlighting their own perspectives on relevant communications issues.

Please note that the meeting in Vienna is open only to representatives of civil protection authorities.

For more information:

Dominique Detain, ESA Directorate of Telecommunications and Navigation
Telephone: +33 (0) 1 5369 7726
Email: Dominique.Detain @ esa.int

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