The objective of the Common Operation Picture
Exploitation (COPE) project was to achieve a significant
improvement in emergency response management command and
control performance, reliability, and cost. New
solutions were created by combining a user oriented
human factors approach with the technology development.
The aim was a step improvement in information flow both
from and to the first responder in order to increase
situational awareness across agencies and at all levels
of the command chain in emergency management situations.
A user-driven approach was taken to develop new
technologies for supporting user information
requirements at the scene of the event. First responders
belong to a heterogeneous group in terms of emergency
environments as well as roles, command structure,
organisational and national differences. The project
applied a wide range of human factors methods from
functional task modelling to end user simulations to
better understand the processes of individual agencies
and to ensure that new systems both match requirements
and can be integrated with legacy processes and
The results show that the objectives of the COPE
project were reached. The first sentence of the abstract
of the COPE Description of Work sets the frame
requirements of the project:
“The Common Operational Picture Exploitation
(COPE) project will integrate COTS solutions and novel
technologies to achieve a step change in information
flow both from and to the first responder in order to
increase situational awareness across agencies and at
all levels of the command chain.”
This goal was achieved by
• The identification evaluation, screening and selection
of a set of different technologies adequate for first
• The in-depth analysis of requirements for building the
COPE innovative solutions
• Several development activities in modifying and
adapting the technologies for the purpose of COPE.
• An intensive Human Factors effort in regarding the
end-users' input in all processes of technology
development and verification, and in trial exercise
design and validation.
• The integration of all components into a demonstrator
“System of Systems” and the setup of a large scenario
based mixed live and tabletop type trial exercise.
According to the judgement of the first responder
end-users and external stakeholders, the system and its
components worked to the satisfaction level “good” to
“very good”. Some temporary failures and reductions in
functionality were at a level usual for such a complex
research project, and did not derogate the detailed and
overall result as planned.
The COPE solutions form a basis for advanced common
operational picture (COP) solutions and its status of
advancement can be compared to other highly advanced COP
projects. Efficient use of the COPE results in real
operations will require further customisation for the
individual domains of the customers and intensive
training of the end-users.
The COPE dissemination event took place in the PSCE
conference in November 2011 (Public Safety Communication
Europe, see http://www.psc-europe.eu/index.php?id=378#c885
The project started in February
2008 and ended in February 2011.
of COPE results