Satellite navigation could make Olympic Games safer

July 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: Positioning systems improve airport logistics

Related Stories

Positioning systems improve airport logistics

October 1, 2015

An airport apron bustles with traffic. The tow tractors, tankers and buses moving busily around an aircraft run the risk of colliding. An enhanced positioning system will increase safety and the efficiency of logistical operations ...

EGNOS navigation system begins serving Europe's aircraft

March 3, 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 aircraft during ...

Helicopter flight trials for EGNOS

July 18, 2007

Successful trials have recently been conducted at Lausanne, Switzerland, using the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) to guide a helicopter as it approached and touched down at an emergency medical ...

Two years in space for Galileo satellite

December 19, 2007

On 28 December, it will be two years since GIOVE-A - the first Galileo satellite - was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan. This satellite demonstrates the progress Europe has made in setting up its own ...

Recommended for you

Just a touch of skyrmions

October 13, 2015

Ancient memory devices such as handwriting were based on mechanical energy—but in the modern world they have given way to devices based generally on electrical manipulation.

Toyota promises better mileage and ride with Prius hybrid

October 13, 2015

Toyota Motor Corp. released details for its fourth-generation Prius on Tuesday, promising that improvements in the battery, engine, wind resistance and weight mean better mileage for the world's top-selling hybrid car.

What happens when your brain can't tell which way is up?

October 13, 2015

In space, there is no "up" or "down." That can mess with the human brain and affect the way people move and think in space. An investigation on the International Space Station seeks to understand how the brain changes in ...


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.