e*Warn Sirens Already Operational in Northern and Southern Germany
Thursday, 19 November 2009 00:00
KAT 10 forum: e*Message informs participants on storm and disaster warning projects
09/2009. e*Message is collaborating with Fraunhofer ISST in two population warning projects, SAFE and KatWarn. State agencies and concerned citizens receive alert messages via a satellite-based radio network. e*Message presented first results and future developments during the KAT 10 forum recently held in Berlin.
Protection of critical infrastructures, alerting of rescue services and 24-hour population warning even in case of power blackout: these were the topics of the KAT 10 disaster safety forum held in Berlin in late September. Twelve experts spoke about alerting, informing and warning inhabitants. e*Message was one of the exhibitors and reported on the successful use of e*Warn sirens in the SAFE project (Sensor-Aktor-gestützte Frühwarnsysteme) initiated by Fraunhofer ISST (Fraunhofer-Institut für Software- und Systemtechnik).
SAFE: e*Message Collaborates with Fraunhofer ISST
In this federally funded project, e*Message collaborates with Fraunhofer ISST to warn users via a satellite-based radio network. The e*Warn sirens, with an integrated warning module developed by e*Message, have been successful in tests for the past several months in various German regions, including the Bavarian town of Mering. The SAFE warning system functions as a sensor network that covers an entire town or industrial site, gathers all the relevant data, and sends warning messages as required to TV sets and other receivers, including e*Warn sirens. According to the local authorities, the SAFE technology stood the test during a storm in Mering in late May. Its performance won the support of Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, who advocated expanding the test to the whole of Bavaria during a recent press conference in Mering. Herrmann underscored not only the importance of the project for population warning, but also the economical advantages of the new technology.
KatWarn: Population Warning Project in the Aurich District
"Awareness of danger is not safety," said Ulrich Meissen, director of the SAFE project initiated by Fraunhofer ISST. "But the SAFE technology has an advantage: it not only warns in case of danger, but also triggers specific action." Through various channels, the technology is able to react to a variety of situations and to take individual requirements into account. For example, set-top boxes allow warning messages to be mixed into current TV programmes. Furthermore, e*Warn sirens can alert the population at home round the clock, and in schools, kindergartens, industrial plants, and official buildings during working hours.
The SAFE technology not only warns of storms, but also offers improved warnings in case of disasters such as floods or major accidents. Fraunhofer ISST is currently testing such solutions in the KatWarn project in the Aurich district in Northern Germany. The KatWarn technology, which uses e*Warn sirens with built-in positioning devices, has the critical advantage of permitting population alerting down to the house number, 24 hours a day, even during power blackouts. Several manufacturers are currently considering integrating e*Warn modules in smoke detectors.