KIRAS Security Research



SECURESCUE targets real-time 3D 360° mapping of a disaster area for a disaster response using mobile exploration robots. The goal is to achieve fast situation and risk awareness to support safe and efficient deployment of first responders

The project tackles the needs to improve efficient and safe rescue activities in the response phase of crisis and disaster management (e.g. natural or man-made disasters) by bringing a novel airborne laser scanner and 3D 360° panorama technology and furthermore integrating them separately on air-borne and a ground based robots with gas and radiation sensors into a unique solution to alleviate the limitations and increase the efficiency of today’s rescue procedures. Therefore, first responders and coordinators of such critical missions are provided with an integrated system for real-time 3D visualization of disaster areas and detection of dangers (e.g. crash dangers, dangerous gases, contaminated buildings). 

The main goals of the SECURESCUE project are to improve visibility of risks in disaster areas, to allow fast and efficient localization of dangerous zones and to increase safety for action forces and victims. All related activities are integrated and various information sources are combined to improve and accelerate rescue activities. To achieve these goals, a novel airborne laser scanner from Riegl will be integrated on an UAV to provide data for the multi-layer maps for outdoor scenarios. Furthermore a ground based robot will be used together with a 3D 360° panorama camera to improve situation awareness within buildings. Furthermore the data will be combined with a radiation detector, gas sensors and odometers to support exploration of disaster areas. The collected data will be wirelessly transmitted to on-site 1st responder station, be fused to generate real-time multi-layer 3D maps (1 map /second) with visual (3D) information, radioactivity and concentration of selected gases. These maps will be visualized on the handheld devices of the 1st responders in real-time to support exploration and risk localization of the disaster area. 

This system will face four major challenges: (1) the real-time depth information from the 3D 360° camera alone may not be sufficiently accurate to generate a reliable 3D map, however this can be alleviated by adding additional sensor information. (2) robust simultaneous localization and mapping in unexpected and unstructured terrain with possible disturbances such as vegetation or smoke; is challenging (3) the real-time maps have to be tailored to the low resolution of typical ruggedized tablet pcs to be of use on-site (4) even if all technical challenges are successfully mastered, social acceptance of the system by the first responders is of paramount importance. Therefore special emphasize will be put on creating an easy to use system by integrating relevant stake holder early on. Also SECURESCUE will also analyze usability and societal aspects of the created system. 

The project targets multilayer (visual, laser, gas, radioactivity) 3D maps to be generated and visualized in real-time on handheld devices of 1st responders to explore dangers and risks in disaster areas before and during rescue activities. SECURESCUE creates a tremendous opportunity for the participating SMEs (first responder UAS, Laser scanner, and handheld visualization) as the market impact of this project has a relevant national and international dimension due to the importance of this topic in civil applications requiring low-cost and easy to manipulate autonomous systems with improved capabilities.

Project leader
DI Michael Hofstätter, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Project partner

  • Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (Konsortialführer)
  • Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung und Sport, Österreichisches Bundesheer
  • Technische Universität Wien
  • Riegl Research Forschungsgesellschaft
  • Flammpunkt
  • CBRN Protection GmbH

DI Michael Hofstätter
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Safety & Security Department
Donau-City-Straße 1
A-1220 Wien
Tel.: + 43 50550 4202
Fax: + 43 50550 4125