AF3 Project Structure

The AF3 Project Structure has been conceived in order to develop innovative technologies and ensure the integration between existing and new systems able to ensure significant improvements to fire-fighting operations and the protection of human lives during wildfire events.

figura consorzio

WP1: Programme management

The Programme Management will address all the activities necessary to ensure that the project objectives will be successfully accomplished. More specifically the Programme Management will include:

  • Management of the overall activities of the project
  • Responsibility for conflict resolution
  • Maintenance of communication infrastructure of the project
  • Management of IPR and knowledge management and other innovation-related activities
  • Overseeing the promotion of gender equality in the project and any ethical issues
  • Production and maintenance of Project Handbook, including the detailed management plan
  • Review and monitoring of the project milestones in terms of budget, quality and delivery date.
  • Management of relationship with European Commission by sending deliverables to the EC; preparation and gathering of annual report
  • Preparation of the annual reviews with EC
  • Risk management and contingency plan
  • Financial management of the project, including receipt and distribution of funding and collection, consolidation and submission of financial reports
  • Administration and logistics of consortium meetings and Commission reviews
  • Quality and safety management within the project



WP2.1: Mission Analysis & System Requirements (CONOPS, End User needs)

• Fully understand current situation in fire-fighting, CONOPS, user needs and areas of improvement
• Define scenarios, use cases, missions, context and boundary conditions with the support of End Users
• Transform the previous information into User and System Requirements,
• Define metrics, and state objectives and thresholds for those requirements,
• Compile a System Requirements Matrix that will be updated for compliance during all the project
• A suitable software will be used for effective management of requirements.
The final output of this WP shall be a formulation of clear requirements on equipment, facilities, material, software, hardware, services and personnel required for operations. Such requirements have to be used for the design verification and validation of the systems, and thus the requirements matrix will be periodically updated along the project (see WP2.3). The intended audience for this document includes decision makers, end users, designers and testers.

WP2.2: Overall architecture & Sub-system definition

-To check that available technologies within the consortium will cover all system requirements, for the two scenarios included in the call plus one additional scenario (wild land-urban interfaces).
-To define AF3 global system architecture, which will give an answer to the system requirements.

WP2.3: Overall System requirements compliance verification

-Manage possible redefinition of baseline requirements and possible addition of new requirements.
-Verify that the solutions investigated within the project progress in an adequate manner to the full compliance of the requirements.
-Verify and Validate requirements with test cases. Traceability Matrix (related with WP8 Integration, validation and Trials).

WP 3.1: Modelling of forest fire propagation and extinguishing

The main objectives of WP 3.1 are:
• to forecast forest fire propagation from detected initial scenarios
• to take into account available (soft) real-time data for soft real time adjustment of the fire propagation modelling
• to forecast the fire hazard potential as input for WP 4 (Risk analysis, prevention and safety), in particular for damage modelling of persons and objects
• to know about the uncertainties and discontinuities of the modelling
• to model the cooling/extinguishing effect of fire fighting means (water, water with retardants, liquid retardants, solid pellets)
• to model the dispersion of the fire fighting means (liquids, pellets)
• to model the behaviour of airplanes and helicopters that disperse water and pellets
• to model the behaviour of ground dispersers for pellets
All these models will be integrated into a comprehensive Fire Simulation Tool, which will be developed in WP 3.3.

WP 3.2: Modelling of crisis management

Besides fire evolution and fire extinguishing, a fire fighting scenario includes many other crisis management issues which have to be modelled, such as:

  • Crowds flow during organized evacuation
  • Crowds panic
  • Resources shortage
  • Resources coordination
  • Media communication

The models will be integrated by SES into a comprehensive Fire Simulation Tool, which will be developed in WP 3.3. Furthermore, a hybrid crowd movement model will be developed that will combine agent-based and flow-based approaches to simulate both low-density and high-density crowd conditions, as well as the transition between the two. The strategic decisions of agents will be influenced by psychological, emotional and physiological parameters in order to account for the effects of a large-scale fire hazard (i.e. heat fatigue, limited vision, panic). Agents will be categorized into types who react differently to the developing situation (i.e. normal people-followers, trained/untrained leaders, fire-fighters, etc.).

WP 3.3: Fire Fighting Lab (FFL) Simulation tool

A Fire-Fighting Simulation Tool (Simulation Host with MMI) will be developed by SES. It will integrate into a comprehensive tool all the models developed in the Tasks of this WP as well as the real time risk analysis tool of WP4 (Risk analysis, prevention and safety). The Fire-Fighting Simulation Tool will be integrated with the C4I Station (WP5, Integrated Crisis management). A separate MMI will allow doing integrations, tests, and restricted simulation sessions independent and in parallel with C4I Station operations. The operational theatre for a Fire-Fighting mission requires high resources coordination in risky conditions. For this reason good planning, mission rehearsal, training and debriefing is vital for crews’ safety and for mission success. Key factors are: Situation Awareness, Decision Making, and Crews Coordination.



WP 4.1: Distribution analyses

The main objectives of WP4.1 are:
• to determine the distributions of persons, critical infrastructure (fuel), e.g. transportation (highways, railroads) and energy grids (power grid and pipelines), wildlife and vegetation (fuel) based on monitoring and sensor fusion data of WP6 as input for the fire propagation modelling in forests, close to critical infrastructure and urban interface areas in WP3.1;
• to generate input for the frequency and damage analysis (WP4.2), the safety and risk analysis of preventive and active fire fighting means (WP4.3) and the preventive, real time and post-fire risk analyses (WP4.4).

WP 4.2: Damage analyses

The main objectives of WP4.2 are
• to provide damage models for persons, (critical) infrastructure (highways, railways, high voltage grids and pipelines in forest areas, facilities affected by the fire), wildlife and environment (for WP4.3 and WP4.4);
• to control mechanical damage due to fire fighting means (pellets, capsules containers) (for WP4.3) as well as damage due to forest fires, its products, heat and selected dangerous substances released by the fire;
• to provide damage models for the real-time, preventive and post-fire risk analyses of forest fires (for WP4.4);
• to prepare the safety and risk assessment of the advanced fire fighting means as well as fires by linking gender, societal, ethical and legal issues with engineering risk criteria, e.g. non-injury thresholds.

WP 4.3: Safety and risk analysis of fire fighting means

The main objectives of WP4.3 are
• to validate and confirm the conditions for the safe operation of the advanced fire fighting means (pellets and capsules) with focus on pellets;
• to confirm that for the intended usage of the pellets the local/ individual/ collective hazard, damage and risks for persons on the surface (responders and third party) caused by the distribution have an acceptable safety level using software-supported analysis (input for WP7, WP8);
• to determine in a more analytical and qualitative way the risks of the preventive fire fighting method with capsules and to confirm and validate the conditions of safe preventive fire fighting (for WP7);
• to control the risks for operators of air-borne fire fighting platforms that distribute pellets for active fire fighting (for WP8).

WP 4.4: Risk analyses for forest fires

The main objectives of WP4.4 are
• to provide real-time, preventive and post-fire/long term risk analyses;
• to determine the (local) individual and collective damage and risks of persons, the risks for critical infrastructure (up to release of hazardous substances), wild-life, vegetation and the environment after fire outbreak, mainly drawing on situation data of WP6, fire hazard propagation models of WP3, and the distribution and damage analyses modules of WP4.1 and WP4.2 (input to WP3 and WP5);
• to determine similar risks due to fire before fire outbreak for assessing and improving fire prevention (input to WP3 and WP5);

• to provide a post-fire/long term risk analysis, with an additional focus on non-recovery risks (for wildlife, vegetation, environment) due to active fire fighting means (input to WP3 and WP5);
• to provide damage and risk information for fire-fighting (WP7) and crisis management including information of
the public (WP5).

WP 5.1: Advanced CONOPS and International Interoperability

The objectives of WP 5.1 are:
• To define the overall CONOPs and specification for the integrated crisis management.
• To define, integrate and test CONOPs, procedures and systems that will improve the capabilities in the following areas of crisis management:
o International Interoperability
o Safety Management of Responders, Public and Wildlife
o Public Information Channels
• To develop technological means of managing the safety of responders, citizens and wildlife through remote sensing and information management through a dedicated e-Health portal

WP 5.2: Situation Awareness and Command, Control and Communication

To define, integrate and test CONOPs, procedures and systems that will improve the capabilities in the following
areas of crisis management:
– Advanced Situation Awareness (ASA) systems
– Command, Control and Communication
– Expert Systems and Decision Support

WP 5.3: Training and Drills (of Crisis Management)

The objectives of WP 5.3 are:
•To define advanced concepts and procedures for trainings and drills with the AF3 crisis management center and systems in order to provide crisis management teams and first responders with the highest level of expertise and readiness to best operate the AF3 systems during a crisis.
•To prepare a large scale crisis management drill that will demonstrate and evaluate the new training concepts and procedures as part of the integrated AF3 test in WP8

WP 6.1: Airborne & space observation

The objectives of this WP involves monitoring and detection solutions for airborne and space observation. In
specific, WP 6.1 will:
• Apply airborne observation solutions such as UAVs and data from sensors mounted on fire-fighting airborne
crafts for wide area monitoring and fire detection, with emphasis on fire re-ignition detection.
• Develop swarm-operated micro-UAVs for cost-effective preventive actions including precise localized observations of high risk areas, confirmation of possible incidents (e.g. via visual smoke detection and simple IR/radiation sensors), as well as post-crisis actions including surveillance, search for survivors, assessment of damages to infrastructures, support recovery etc.
• Integrate innovative space observation competencies, using satellite image processing for purposes of monitoring and early warning on a large scale.
• Establish an efficient method to generate maps from satellite remote sensing data showing different degrees of damage affecting vegetation after a large wildfire, in order to locate priority intervention areas and plan forest restoration works.
• Develop an ecological UAV for monitoring the propagation of pollution and smoke during a fire together with a simulation tool that will enable to map and display the current ecological situation and predict the smoke propagation according to wind and atmospheric data.
• Increase the capacity of the emergency preparedness and response by combining advanced technologies in LIDAR remote sensing (Doppler LIDARS), UAV field measurements and advanced numerical modeling to provide the best field situation report, both in forecast and nowcast mode.
• Assess the hazardous areas according to level of trust directly depending of the on-field information (observations and in-situ measurements).
• Make information available and relevant with coupling modeling outputs and on-field measurements

WP 6.2: Ground observation & Ancillary data

The objectives of this WP involve monitoring and detection solutions for ground observation and collection of
ancillary data. In specific, WP 6.2 will:
• Combine ground wireless, mobile and stationary sensor network capabilities in order to achieve seamless detection and monitoring through all phases of fire development.
• Benefit from advancements of mobile device technology and mobile application capabilities, bringing into the mediation system ancillary means and data, such as input from mobile phones held by fire-fighting personnel as well as helpful citizens or input from the web (crowd sourcing, social networking and web applications).
• Establish and adapt a methodology that allows to accurately estimate damage affecting vegetation and soil after a large wildfire based on visual observation in the field.
• Establish information collection services over large areas in order to merge and retrieve valuable data, providing an enhanced real-time view of the operation through interfacing cost-effectively with the existing conventional systems and heterogeneous communication networks e.g. V/U network of police. Fire Brigade, Health Service, TETRA networks.

WP 6.3: Data Fusion and Visualisation

The objectives of this WP involve monitoring and detection data fusion, integrated processing and reasoning as well as integrated HMI and visualisation tools. In specific, WP 6.2 will:
• Provide an innovative data visualization, data fusion and reasoning unit which will be able to combine multi-source observation data with results from fire prediction techniques, algorithms and models, returning feedback to detection mechanisms for focused observation in areas of high-risk.
• Develop and integrate visualisation tools both for command and control as well as for ground personnel and first responders, enhancing existing GIS and observation capabilities with mobile application technologies, wireless sensor networks, UAV and satellite images.
• Conduct investigation and provide an integrated monitoring and detection solution that covers all identified through all forest fire development stages as well as through post and pre-fire phases. In this way, the AF3 command and control centre will benefit from a seamless and robust monitoring and fire detection system.
• Establish a robust network for communicating and collecting multi-source observation data which will be fed into the AF3 data fusion and reasoning unit, identifying weak links in the communication chain and providing alternatives, enhancing robustness.

WP 7.1: Physics and chemistry of firefighting (pellets and capsules for firefighting/ retarding/ cooling)

The objective of the task is the study and the analysis of the physics and chemistry of the fire fighting process for each mission in order to developed advanced physics and chemistry models and scientific simulation tools to optimize the adaption of an innovative AAFF systems and choose the appropriate active materials for each mission. Therefore experiments from lab scale to open area test sites are planned.

WP 7.2: Advanced Aerial Fire Fighting

The main objective is to adapt and integrate the new AAFF system with the AF3 systems and fire fighting missions: forest and bush, forest infrastructure and wildland-urban interface fires in Europe. This will be done by integrating the AAFF system on the selected operated aerial platforms in Europe with pellets dispensing capability, day and night targeting, post mission debrief tools and logistics accessories. The integrated systems will serve as prototypes of the AAFF systems for testing and evaluation (WP8) of the new fire fighting capabilities.
The objectives of WP 7.2 are therefore:
• The integration of improved aerial fire fighting systems:
o To integrate the AAFF system with dispensing capability on the following 3 aerial platforms:
� Cargo airplane: EADS CASA C295
� Dedicated fire fighting airplane: CL-215 or CL-415
� Helicopter
o To integrate a targeting systems on each of the platforms
o To integrate logistic accessories and capabilities that will support the AAFF systems
o To integrate innovative means for post AAFF mission debrief and analysis capabilities

WP 7.3: Ground Fire Fighting Vehicles

To define the requirements for improving the ground equipment of firefighting brigades and for integrating
emerging technologies, such as fire fighting vehicles and UGVs with the AF3 architecture.

WP 7.4: Preventive Intervention Means (Capsules)

The main objective of WP7.4 is to design and develop Preventive layers/Capsule Subsystem that allows protecting wildland-urban-interfaces and wildland critical infrastructures without removing vegetation. The plan for this task follows a “Top Down” design methodology: Definition of design specifications, product engineering, design adaptation for manufacture by injection series. The injection series will serve for integration, validation and trials (WP8) of the new fire fighting capabilities. The objectives of WP 7.4 are therefore:
• Based on end user needs (WP2.1), and damage, safety and risk analysis results (WP4.2, WP4.3) define in detail design specifications of the Preventive layers/ Capsule subsystem.
• To develop product engineering that improve the integration of the Capsule subsystem in firefighting AF3 means, in an easy way.
• To develop elements and accessories for different fuel types, that allows a successful use in many wildland-urban and wildland-infrastructure scenarios.

WP 8.1: Partial Tests and Integration Trials

The objectives of WP 8.1 are:
• Validate that the R&D products perform according to the specifications.
• Verify the compatibility of each of the AF3 subsystems with the AF3 system architecture and interfaces.
• Perform integration of the AF3 subsystems with the overall AF3 system.
• Test the integrated system to verify readiness to the overall fire fighting tests (WP8.2).
An Integrated Test Plan will be produced, based on a build-up approach starting with individual subsystem ground tests (task 8.1.1), followed by integration flight testing on each fire fighting flight platform (task 8.1.2), then finalising with the comprehensive operational tests for the whole AF3 system (task 8.2).

WP 8.2: Overall Fire Fighting Tests

WP 8.2 includes the plan and execution of the overall integrated AF3 test and the preparation of the test report.
The objectives of WP 8.2 are:
• To validate the AF3 new technological concepts
• To validate the HMI (Human Machine Interfaces)
• To evaluate the overall performance of the new system and improvements with respect to current capabilities.
The final trial will be carried out in a dedicated range suited for aerial fire fighting tests. Executives form the EC & many stakeholders and potential clients will be invited for a seminar on AF3 and a final trial. It will include interactive and real time simulation and drilling exercise to allow participation of crisis management actors from Europe.
The trial will include a large scale integrated test in order to validate the AF3 methods and systems. The tools and prototypes developed during the project will be operated in both simulated and live scenarios, including live fire testing at a designated test area.

WP 8.3: Evaluation of Test Results and End User Feedback

The objectives of WP 8.3 are:
•Evaluation, on the basis of the test results, of the entire process of Fire-fighting, from the detection of the fire, definition and implementation of the tactics to counter it and the assessment of the implementation of the tactics.
•Assessment of the overall efficiency and the cost effectiveness.
•Compare the new system with existing systems.

WP 9.1: Dissemination

The main objective of WP9.1 is the dissemination of the results of the entire project. This will be performed with the intents of increasing the visibility of the methods, tools and procedures that are developed, but also to take advantage of the interaction with third parties that can give feedbacks during the project development. The dissemination will be performed at three different levels: the scientific community, the public, the end users.

WP 9.2: Standardization activities

This WP aims at facilitating the international cooperation that is necessary in the case of large forest fire. Interoperability issues both in equipment as well as in common operation procedures will be studied in order to define the requirements in standardisation activities.

WP 9.3: Exploitation

The main objectives of WP9.3 are:
• to identify strengthening and weakening of the proposed technical solutions with respect to the existing ones
• identify what are possible external partners that can play a key role in order to make the technical solutions commercial products
• develop a complete business plan for the products

WP 10.1: Ethical Issues

Ethical issues are moral issues. These influence which METHODS are used, and sometimes whether the research can continue.

This Work package monitors the Ethical issues arising by the AF3 research to ensure that AF3 maintains the highest ethical standards.

WP 10.2 Environmental issues & evacuation

AF3 will show that aerially-applied fire retardant via pellets reduces wildfire intensity and rate of spread, decreasing risks to firemen, enabling them to construct fireline safely.
This Workpackage monitors the Environmental and health aspects of using these pellets to tackle wildfire and the usage risk will be assessed and compared to the advantages.
This Workpackage also addresses the complicated issue of Evacuation – in particular if it becomes mandatory.