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Last week the Spanish partners of the consortium met at CATUAV/BCN drone center to prepare in-situ the small-scale exercise to be done in May at this beautiful spot. In this first visit we tested the seamless indoor/outdoor positioning helmets and we also prepared the guidelines for the three small exercises. Three rescue operations related to fire, floods and urban evacuation. The scenarios include open fields, forests, caves and houses' indoors.

With these tests we aim to prove the suitability of our tool to ensure continuous tracking of CPE staff, every time, everywhere!

Preparing the May exercise

Our first set of exercises will take place at Collsuspina.  CATUAV, one of the IOPES technological partners is located in this town. Their premises named  BCN DRONE CENTER are located just one hour by car from Barcelona city center and international airport. Meteorological conditions allow UAV flight testing more than 300 days a year.

On the land side, it comprises a 14 Ha field divided into a 4 Ha air operations zone, runway and self electrical power generation, and around 10 Ha of forest and part of a small stream.

The main building facilities include hangar, Ground Control Station with four operator workstations, Mobile trailer Ground Control Station capable to be moved to the operations area, workshops, labs, rest area, offices and full internet access. There are also more than 40 geodetic markers and 2 effective resolution panels for sensor calibration purposes. There are also three auxiliary buildings with dome design, able to be easily converted to showroom, conference room, classroom or experimental team dedicated space.

On the aerial side, it counts with an official segregated airspace (TSA-31) of around 50 square km (5000 Ha) and 1360m ceiling (around 400-500m ASL (Above Surface Level)), highly more than legal 120m maximum limited altitude for drones. These dimensions allow us to provide enhanced coverage for experimental testing’s below TRL8 and to perform preparatory test campaigns before entering in commercial stage for any drone system and subsystems.

Our BCN Drone Center test site area has different relevant natural features, including in the southwest part the “Torrent del Mal” stream that probably contributes to flood periodically “The Toll Caves”, an archaeological relevant site of Neanderthal signs of cave life. Currently there are active archaeological campaigns inside and a short segment of the cave is open to visitors. On this stream and caves part of the IOPES exercise will be performed.

 

The BCN drone center (Collsuspina)

On the northeast of our test site is the Collsuspina village, a small and historical village of around 340 citizens. The municipality of Collsuspina, of 14.86 km2 is located in the Moianès region. It extends along the mountain range that encloses the Vic plain to the west; it borders to the north with the municipality of Muntanyola, to the northeast and east with Tona, to the east and southeast with the municipality of Balenyà, to the south with Castellcir and to the west with the municipality of Moià.

Collsuspina is an essentially mountainous term, formed geologically during the Tertiary period. The port or pass of La Pollosa (920 meters) is the only passage between Moianès and Osona that exceeds a thousand meters.
Due to its altitude and higher rainfall than in the rest of Moianès, it is a term quite rich in water and with remarkable plains. The area is crossed by small torrents, such Armadans or Picanyol, Griolera or Umbertes, etc, which pour water into the Marfà or Golarda stream, arriving at the end to the Mediterranean Coast by the main Ter, Besos and Llobregat rivers.

 

 

During these last days, at CTTC we have been testing the seamless indoor/outdoor positioning system in different scenarios, from forests to small villages. If you meet us, you will identify us quickly thanks to our nice helmet!

We are happy to check that the system is more and more robust everyday and that it is able to provide useful tracking in challenging scenarios. We want to share with you some pictures of our tests in a wonderful forest near Barcelona and also in two urban scenarios near our premises.

Indoor / Outdoor seamless tracking

 

The portable and compact private mobile network is deployed to provide local 4G-5G communications in isolated areas, with the possibility of connecting via backhaul links (e.g., satellite) to national infrastructures for extending the national coverage, for instance, of special forces of the Ministry of Defense/Intern. The small form factor of the backpack solution includes a small radio cell, a ruggedized small server with a fully virtualized core network and optionally applications to run by the end users (e.g., Push-To-Talk, Mission-Critical PTT).
The backpack can run in the field on batteries for a full working day covering hundreds of end users in mission. Simply to use, as it just needs to press a button to power on and have a full private mobile network on air, the backpack solution can be also installed in vehicles to provide a connectivity bubble on-the-move.

The end users can be equipped with commercial or ruggedized phones, tabs, PCs, wearable or any other kind of devices/machines that can be equipped with a SIM to be provisioned in the local mobile network. This grants also secure communications among the users in a local group as only the SIMs provisioned in the backpack can be authorized to get access and connect to the network and its services.

When provisioning the SIM, it is also possible to set the Quality of Service (QoS) profile of such user, i.e., allowing users to run services or applications that can be prioritized over best effort data traffic. This is the case of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and MCPTT/MCX, which have 3GPP standard specific QoS Class Identifier (QCI) dedicated to grant traffic priority from the UE to the Radio and Core, i.e., over the full e-2-e chain, when needed. The full classification of such QCI values in the standards are collected under the technical specification 3GPP TS 23.203 "Policy and Charging Control Architecture".

IOPES private mobile communications sytem © Athonet

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