Satellite navigation could make Olympic Games safer

Jul 30, 2004
Satellite navigation could make Olympic Games safer

A future step up in security for the Olympic Games and other such events could come with help from space thanks to technologies being developed by the European Space Agency.

Ongoing trials in Athens and its surroundings of projects using the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) satellite navigation system are showing how this can be used to improve the safety of such big events.
Several simulations tested EGNOS in different environments typical of the Games currently under preparation. EGNOS is the first step for Europe in satellite navigation before Galileo. The project, called INStANT Olympic, was launched and financed by the 5th framework programme of the European Union and is technically coordinated by the Galileo Joint Undertaking.

This project, involving several SMEs with Italian society Next and the Greek company Algosystems, is an infomobility service for safety critical applications based on integrated global satellite navigation terminals. The aim is to satisfy the needs of a case study like the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

The first experiment ongoing in Athens is the management of a security company. The guards on duty are equipped with a personal digital assistant (PDA) which allows them if needed, to send alarms to their headquarters. There, immediate decisions can be taken to implement the appropriate actions. Knowing the exact position of staff on duty and being able to receive real time information on the evolving situation, with images and sounds, the man in charge in the control room can adapt his response accordingly.

For example, knowing the positions of all the specially equipped patrol cars makes it possible to choose the nearest vehicle to be sent on location for support, cutting the delays in intervention.

Another application being tested in Greece is the management a fleet of leisure boats. Sailing offshore Athen’s peninsula the boats are equipped with waterproof handheld devices. These devices give accurate positioning and offer the possibility of data transfer.

If a problem occurs the occasional sailors can alert the boat owners who from headquarters can gain a clear understanding of what is going on based on pictures sent in from those on the boat. Potential damage to the boat could be shown via pictures. Furthermore, getting lost due to bad weather or instrument failure is much less of a worry; the boat owner has a map displaying the position of all boats owned.

Response to calls for assistance in many different situations can be more efficient with EGNOS. In the particular situation of the Olympic Games, EGNOS will enable new services for users and improve safety in our daily lives.

Source: ESA

Explore further: NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

Related Stories

EGNOS navigation system begins serving Europe's aircraft

Mar 03, 2011

Today, the EGNOS Safety-of-Life signal was formally declared available to aviation. For the first time, space-based navigation signals have become officially usable for the critical task of vertically guiding ...

Second launch this year for Ariane 5

Mar 25, 2014

An Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two telecom satellites, Astra-5B and Amazonas-4A, into their planned transfer orbits.

Artemis keeps talking the talk

Jun 01, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Although ESA’s Artemis telecommunications satellite has officially completed its mission, it still has plenty to offer. Reaching its working orbit almost 11 years ago after an arduous journey, ...

Factfile on Galileo, Europe's rival to GPS

Oct 16, 2011

Following is a snapshot of Europe's Galileo space-based navigation system, the first satellites of which are scheduled to be launched on Thursday from Kourou, French Guiana.

Recommended for you

NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

50 minutes ago

The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration ...

Uber drivers fined in Hungary

1 hour ago

The Hungarian tax authority fined Uber drivers in its first probe against the ride-sharing service which the economy ministry said Saturday "ignores passenger safety" and must be made to follow regulations.

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

21 hours ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

May 23, 2015

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.