CRITECH’s scientific and technical support is underpinned by the following R+D activities:
- European Crisis Management Laboratory:
- Developing ICT solutions to support time-sensitive collaboration, analytical reasoning, problem solving and decision-making in crisis management. Solutions under development and testing include experimenting with multiple-source information retrieval and analysis techniques, real-time data stream prioritisation/visualisation and large visualisation/display systems in order to mainstream them in common situation awareness and collaborative crisis decision-making, typically in situation centre/crisis room environments.
- Simulation crisis exercises.
- Back-up for EU crisis rooms/situation centres.
- Developing improved models for Tsunamis: this includes developing an upgraded global tsunami calculation grid, using the recently developed crust model deformation and the JRC model for Tsunami run-up and inundation simulation; developing optimised computational Tsunami simulation by introducing advanced nodalisation strategy modes and code parallelisation; testing the JRC Tsunami Alerting Device in real-case environments.
- Improving and implement the JRC’s Global Flood Detection System (GFDS) in the GDACS processing chain: This includes evolving the JRC’s GFDS, based on global passive microwave remote sensing data, from its current experimental state, using new techniques under development at the JRC to automatically detect flood affected areas and river sections, which are combined with emergency mapping activities, to alert relevant organisations and trigger VHR satellite acquisition for flood affected areas. Activities include: integrating the GFDS, along with news-based and meteo-based systems, in the workflow of GDACS to give continuous monitoring of ongoing floods; Including data from existing forecasting models in the alerting pattern to automatically focus analysis on specific locations and thus improve the readiness of the system; adapting GFDS to the monitoring/early warning needs of authorities of flood-prone countries; Introduce new satellite and other sensors in the processing chain, and reduce noise by eliminating effects induced by heavy rain and assimilating results from case-based validation studies.
- Developing and improving the dedicated geo-spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) that serves as a basis for all tasks performed in the JRC’s global early warning/alerting system (GDACS) and is integrated in most its applications for map-based visualisation purposes; for every new natural hazard, the SDI is invoked to automatically generate maps, to automatically assess the impact on the population and critical infrastructure, and to identify affected locations. The SDI is also used to create and maintain the JRC StreetMap (a global basemap focusing on disaster-prone areas). The improved SDI will also host the SensorWeb real-time observation data under development by CRITECH, and provide geospatial data for visual analytics applications.
- Developing ICT solutions to support common risk analysis and alerting, collaborative crisis decision-making: This includes developing solutions that address scientific challenges in common situation awareness and collaborative crisis management environments: optimal user interaction, interoperability among platforms for data sharing and seamless integration of relevant underpinning tools and technologies.
- Improving quantitative assessment of (re)emerging public health threats through: further developing CRITECH’s infectious disease modelling system, IAMOS, to include approaches related to airborne and vector-borne diseases; studying the detection potential of web-based methods to identify small outbreaks of unknown pathogens and investigate the dynamics of emerging epidemics; testing the use of the US Glemwiz tool for analysing (re)emerging diseases and develop simple in-house approach for spatio-temporal analysis of infectious diseases propagation, impact of control strategies and factors such as seasonality.
- Build and implementing capacities in CBRN risk mitigation and response at the international level through: helping to establish a network of regional centres of excellence; designing, populating and making available to partners a database of CBRN expertise and facilities that may be utilised as part of the establishment of Centres of Excellence for CBRN risk mitigation at international level. Developing a series of methodological guidelines and procedures supporting the implementation of the regional CoEs.