Security and Protection – Saving lives with disaster and crisis management

Day after day we read and hear in the media about natural disasters, accidents and terrorist attacks. Such news items are a stark reminder of how vulnerable our society is. The aim of safety researchers is to protect people and the environment from threats as far as possible. In doing so they pursue a long-term approach in order to gain control of all the different phases that occur in a disaster. They focus on early detection, prevention, direct protection and quickly overcoming the consequences of an incident.

Sicherheit und Vorsorge


INACHUS – quick void detection in collapsed buildings

Within the EU project INACHUS (Technological and Methodological Solutions for Integrated Wide Area Situation Awareness and Survivor Localisation to Support Search and Rescue (USaR) Teams), new technologies are developed to support rescue teams after catastrophic events, such as an earthquake. The Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI is responsible for the quick localization of potential survivors in collapsed buildings using EMI’s cavity identification tool (CIT).

Personal Safety for Major Events: IMSK

The continuously evolving threat of unpredictable terrorist activity demands the innovative application of existing and developing technology for the protection of the EU’s citizens. The Integrated Mobile Security Kit (IMSK) project will combine technologies for area surveillance; checkpoint control; CBRNE detection and support for VIP protection into a mobile system for rapid deployment at venues and sites (hotels, sport/festival arenas, etc) which temporarily need enhanced security.

Saving lives with SENEKA

© Fraunhofer

Five Fraunhofer institutes from different disciplines have teamed up for the Beyond Tomorrow project SENEKA – a sensor network with mobile robots for disaster management. The aim is to create a reliable and flexible system for saving human lives in an emergency, using sensors, communication technology elements and robots.

XP-DITE – Accelerated Checkpoint Design Integration Test and Evaluation

The XP-DITE project brings together 13 organisations across Europe to develop, demonstrate and validate a comprehensive, passenger-centred, outcomefocused, system-level approach to the design and evaluation of airport security checkpoints. XP-DITE will allow airports, checkpoint designers and regulators to incorporate a wide range of requirements and evaluate checkpoint performance against system-level security, cost, throughput, passenger satisfaction and ethical factors. The result will be robust security performance, whilst giving airports the freedom to use innovative procedures and technology to improve passenger convenience and reduce delays.

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Intercepting asteroids to avoid Armageddon

Der Barringer-Krater in Arizona
© Stefan Seip/DLR

It sounds like the script for a Hollywood film: a giant meteorite from outer space heading straight for the Earth and threatening the destruction of mankind. And yet such a scenario does represent a real threat to our planet, as researchers reckon that we can expect an asteroid to collide with Earth every few hundred years. That is why the European-funded research project NEOShield was set up.

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An accurate way of predicting landslides

© Fraunhofer IOSB

A landslide can seriously injure or even kill people. Now, a new early warning system will be the fi rst to employ geological data in tandem with the latest weather forecasts to provide a concrete warning in emergency situations.

KATWARN – the local warning and information system for the public

KATWARN is a warning system that not only informs people that there IS a risk, but also tells them HOW to respond to it, based on their actual physical location. Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS in Berlin in cooperation with public-sector insurers, KATWARN is already in operation in various rural districts and cities in Germany, such as Hamburg and Berlin.

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Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security

This group has been formed by Fraunhofer institutes as a means of coordinating their research activities and defining common goals in the area of »Defense and Security«.