Press Release

ETELM, the radio communications infrastructure specialist, has been named as part of the INTEPID project consortium awarded €6.8 million by the European Commission. The aim of the consortium is to create an innovative new platform for the safer and faster exploration and assessment of disaster zones.

Combining deep indoor networking with other advanced and groundbreaking technologies such as intelligent amplification, extended reality, smart cybernetic assistants and positioning capabilities, a total of 17 partners from across seven European countries form the consortium now tasked with developing this specialist platform.

ETELM will be contributing its expertise in critical communications infrastructure to provide an innovative Tactical Communication System to improve both indoor and outdoor exploration capabilities of first responders. It will also be working on a Tactical Range Extender solution to enhance indoor coverage, enabling the INTREPID network to reach areas where signal propagation will be otherwise limited, such as underground or deep indoors.

Nicolas Hauswald, CEO of ETELM, said: “It’s not uncommon that in a time of crisis the pre-established public operator networks will either quickly become overloaded or crash entirely. This means that a more reliable and robust means of communicating effectively is essential for first responders. Through INTREPID we are looking at worst case scenario planning where we can leverage a variety of technologies, including the use of drones and robots, to work together in ensuring that the response to a crisis can be deployed as fast and as effectively as possible, even in the most treacherous environments.”

Many challenges arise in the immediate aftermath of a natural or manmade disaster. First responders must make urgent decisions in large, complex and hostile areas with many unknown and unsafe spaces to explore. Lack of reliable information and deep uncertainty about the environment and the situation, as well as the nature and location of victims and threats, are often serious obstacles to a rapid and effective response.

The INTREPID platform will enable first time responders to start operations immediately without having to wait for specialized teams or for the area to be fully secured.

Dr Olivier Balet, CS Group and project coordinator, said: “We believe that advanced drones and robots that can collaborate with each other through enhanced situational awareness and onsite assistance thanks to extended reality and intelligence amplification concepts will offer first responders an unprecedented head start when operating in hazardous areas. “INTREPID will revolutionize rescue operations and we plan to bring these innovations to the market in the next couple of years.”

This three-year long project, which kicked-off at the end of 2020, will validate the effectiveness of its results in three iterative and complementary pilots to support the rescue operations in complex or dangerous areas to be explored. Scenarios will include a flood in a Stockholm metro station, an industrial accident on a SEVESCO site in Marseille, and a major explosion in a public building in Madrid.

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