Hazardous Scene Responders (UK)

BMT is leading a consortium (comprising Rescue Global, the University of Edinburgh and Herriot-Watt University) for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to deliver a prototype of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to help responders safely assess hazardous situations.

3 December 2018

Defence and Security

Hazardous Scene Responders (UK)

Hazardous Scene Responders (UK)

BMT is leading a consortium (comprising Rescue Global, the University of Edinburgh and Herriot-Watt University) for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to deliver a prototype of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to help responders safely assess hazardous situations. 

UAS autonomously generates an up-to-date map of the terrain, structures, weather and gas species to allow a team of responders to remotely assess a scene for potentially hazardous materials and predict the likely impact. It is a highly flexible tool with applications including disaster response, incident investigation and counter terrorism. The system includes the following key functions:

  • Survey: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) collect aerial imagery to build a detailed 2D and 3D view of the scene before responders enter the environment;

  • Refine: First responders can bound areas and annotate the aerial imagery using Civil Protection Common Map Symbology;

  • Map: Incorporates information from specialised platforms like RISER to visualise indoor inspections in high fidelity point clouds.  For conducting indoor surveys, the application displays the route the UAV took within the building, the building layout - which can be viewed either as a map in 2D or as a 3D point cloud - and panoramic imagery taken from the UAV on-board camera. This can be viewed either as predetermined stills or as a video of the whole data capture;

  • Sample: It shows heat maps that can display gathered chemical/radiation data.

The solution is designed for both Commercial and Specialist UAVs. Users include scene commanders, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRN) specialists and paramedics.  

Antony Waldock, Principal System Analyst at BMT explains: “Responders to potentially hazardous scenes are required to take the necessary precautions before entering the scene. The ability to use an autonomous vehicle to scan the area during deployment would reduce the time taken to respond to the threat.”

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This article is part of #BestOfBMT (2018) campaign in which are featuring the most interesting projects BMT was involved in throughout the year. 

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