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GeoVille together with an interdisciplinary team have been awarded the next ESA partnership project in the "Civil Security from Space" Program, taking on the task of addressing crisis communication challenges. SMART-CONNECT, revolutionizes crisis data exchange capabilities by swiftly and resiliently handling information during emergencies. The middleware solution promises to provide failsafe transmission capacity and deliver actionable insights to first responders and disaster control centres, ushering in a new era of efficiency in crisis response.

Innsbruck, Austria – February 01, 2024 – GeoVille has been selected as a partner by the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in the Civil Security from Space Programme (CSS) to revolutionize crisis communication for a swift data exchange and timely provision of actionable information in emergency situations. Together with an international and multi-disciplinary team, consisting of Epic Blue (BE), INOV (PT), Klepsydra (CH), KUVA Space (FI), neXat (BE), Sistema (AT) and VITO (BE), GeoVille is bringing together expertise in Earth Observation, Telecommunication, Big Data management, Artificial Intelligence for data management (compression technique, data fusion), Internet of Things IoT (measurement in the field) and new space with hyperspectral sensing.

This is a CSS Partnership contract signed under the CSS programme and unites various stakeholders from the civil security domain and European space industry partners who share an interest in leveraging space solutions to support civil security missions.

SMART-CONNECT aims at closing the documented open gaps of the civil security sector mitigates the challenges through provision of an easy-to-use solution allowing uninterrupted transmission and reception of critical situational awareness situation globally. SMART-CONNECT provides a middleware solution that allows a secure end-to-end data interconnectivity among citizens, first responders, disaster management centres, and situational awareness EO service providers. Failsafe transmission capacity is enabled via automatic selection of available transmission channels (all SatCom and terrestrial). As a user selectable service option, the solution features an open value chain for third-party situational awareness information service providers. SMART-CONNECT thereby provides an end-to-end data chain for civil-security emergency management.

“The project is truly cross-disciplinary across ESA, bringing together EO, navigation and satcom together into the next gen of information services. In particular, it will address one of the major challenges during disaster, the lack of bandwidth to connect rapid responders between them but also with the right information. By capitalizing on state-of-the-art satcom and sophisticated software, the project will define a kind of 'local' ground stations enabling ultra-low latency access to geospatial and drone information. The beginning of end2end satcom, from space to people in the field” states Javier Benedicto, acting ESA Director of Connectivity and Secure Communications.

“The use of EO during disasters is critical to gain situational awareness from above. One of the challenges is to deliver the right actionable information to the rapid responders in the field, this project will help address the challenge of “bridging the last mile” by capitalizing on the latest development in satcom, AI, IoT but also new space. The convergence of all these technologies will help extract so much more value from EO data for disaster management but also will open a new market for low latency products” states Simonetta Cheli, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

“Our mission with SMART-CONNECT is to revolutionize the way of communication between first responders and disaster management centers to aid affected citizens. Simplifying access to crucial information, will allow us to streamline assistance and make a real difference in crisis response”, states Christian Hoffmann, CEO of GeoVille.

The Civil Security from Space programme is a new ESA multi-disciplinary programme started in November 2022 to propel the integration of Europe’s competencies and assets into monitoring, mitigating and resolving civil security and crisis events. The programme offers European industry the opportunity to maximize the use of space capabilities in addressing challenges in civil security and crisis management. The CSS programme fosters innovative concepts and solutions through collaboration between civil security stakeholders, participating states, and consortiums of users, service providers, and the space industry. These innovative ventures encompass research and development activities leading up to on-ground or in-orbit validation and testing. The civil security from space programme contributes to space-based crisis management through ESA's proposed 'rapid and resilient crisis response accelerator' – one of three initiatives to accelerate the use of space to respond to societal needs.

About GeoVille

GeoVille is an globally operating company, providing consultancy, services and products related to Earth observation, geo-information, and geographic information systems. GeoVille operates since 1998 with its headquarter in Innsbruck, Austria. GeoVille is internationally renowned for its leading role in innovative Earth observation services and offers a one-stop-shop for targeted value-added geo-information products and related solutions. Furthermore, GeoVille has profound expertise in the field of data access, data streams, cloud-computing solutions, highly scalable production systems and web user-interfaces with a strong geospatial connection.

About ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organization, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. The Civil Security from Space programme (CSS) aims to foster the use of space-based solutions during civil security events and crisis response, which help save lives and livelihoods and enable civil security players to act swiftly to support humanitarian responses, law enforcement, safety, and emergency events, anywhere, at any time and for the benefit of everyone.

Learn more about the Civil Security from Space programme at the ESA website.

Smart Connect -critical information anywhere, anytime.

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GeoVille Information Systems
and Data Processing GmbH

Sparkassenplatz 2
6020 Innsbruck

Tel: +43 512 562021-0
Fax: +43 512 562021-22
Email: info(at)geoville.com