REDIRNET will provide a decentralized framework for interoperability between systems of emergency agencies based on a public metadata gateway, controlled by the agencies themselves through REDIRNET’s social-personal website. The agencies will be capable of establishing links between associated agencies of their choice and their operating requirements; and they will also be capable of managing the scope of such interoperability. In order to enable the deployment and handling of this link, REDIRNET will be enhanced with semantic Web methods accordance with the terminology and processes utilized in the user community. The participating agencies will only be required to develop one gateway (to REDIRNET). Agent technologies will also be developed to facilitate the integration of user systems into REDIRNET.
Over the past few years, European emergency agencies have considerably improved both their communications and IT systems through the development of new technologies, including innovations such as unattended sensor and surveillance systems to support preventive actions and improve the response to major events. Nonetheless, it took only a few recent major catastrophes to reveal the challenges these agencies face, particularly with regard to interoperability constraints. Such challenges also fall within the current economic and financial situation, wherein these agencies are subject to considerable budgetary pressure and thus become unable to invest considerable sums of money towards enhancing their interoperability capability – especially when, in reality, cooperation between agencies fortunately does not take place very often. Which leads us to the conclusion that interoperability improvement must be achieved by way of cost-efficient solutions.
During the course of the work carried out by NEXTEL and the rest of the partners in the projects pertaining to the 7th SECRICOM and FREESIC Framework Program, a high degree of awareness was attained with regard to the current interoperability status between emergency agencies throughout the European Union and the limitations that actually inhibit this objective. Essentially, these inhibitors are more related to cultural and business issues than to technical matters. Such inhibitors include:
• Differing policies between agencies and countries
• Considerable budgetary pressures on emergency agencies
• Optimization of existing investments
• Multiple systems deployed throughout Europe
• Concern for security and confidence
• Classified information
• International treaties and legal limitations
• Long-term commercial contracts
The REDIRNET interoperability platform will be set up as an extension of the FREESIC platform, which aims, in turn, at solving the interoperability issues that occur between emergency-agency communications systems. FREESIC places a special emphasis on interoperability security aspects by enabling the interconnection of systems that handle certain levels of classification. REDIRNET will inherit these security features from the FREESIC platform and will focus on assuring its preservation while it develops new capacities and modules to enable interoperability when accessing files and transmitting data. Therefore, security will be a feature of built into the REDIRNET solution, which was previously embedded in the concept (FREESIC).
In addition, the previous gathering of interoperability issues performed in project FREESIC will be used as a starting point in the inventory of identified issues to be updated during the development of project REDIRNET.
Project REDIRNET introduces an interoperability system that provides participating emergency agencies with transparent, seamless interoperability with a reduced investment, but with enhanced versatility (in terms of the information set up visible to other associated agencies).
- Nextel S.A.
- Ardaco (Slovakia) – http://www.ardaco.com/
- Cetic – Centre d’Excellence en Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (Belgium) – https://www.cetic.be/
- Université du Luxembourg (Luxemburg) – http://wwwen.uni.lu/
- BAPCO – British Association of Public Safety Communication Officers (UK) – http://www.bapco.org.uk/
- IJS – Institut Jozef Stefan (Slovenia) – http://www.ijs.si/
- Institute of Informatics – Slovak Academy of Science (Slovakia)
- Verde (Slovakia) – http://www.verdesro.sk/
- Pramacom (Czech Republic) – http://www.pramacom.cz/