The objective of the Common Operation Picture
Exploitation (COPE) project is to achieve a significant
improvement in emergency response management command and control
performance, reliability, and cost. New solutions will be
created by combining a user oriented human factors approach with
the technology development. The aim is 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.
1. Schematic representation of an organisation of multi-agency
first response activity (Finland). (Click to enlarge)
A user-driven approach is 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 applies 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 technologies.
The project started on 1 February 2008 and the
first reporting period ended on 31 January 2009. The first
milestone of the project “Use case descriptions” was achieved.
The work included multiple interviews of end users, internal
meetings, and workshops. Three different emergency situations
were analysed and approaches for modelling and transform of
accident scenarios into use cases were created. The different
human factors modelling approaches were analysed and developed
2: Common Operational Picture COP
(Click to enlarge)
A generic concept of Common Operational Picture (COP) has
been defined (Figure 2) as the description in time of the emergency
situation that supports the emergency responders within and
between different agencies to act appropriately. The primary
functions of the COP are to support the development and
maintenance of common ground and to support coordinated action
across actors. The term Concept of Operations (CONOPS) is used
to indicate the design target that composes the work
organisation, human activity and technologies. The new CONOPS
developed in COPE project will be based on a model of current
first responder operations.
3: A description of technologies related to a COPE design study.
(Click to enlarge)
The second milestone “End user requirements” was
achieved during the second period that ended on 31 January 2010.
It includes the specification of the field work methodology and
establishing end user cooperation with several agencies and fire
fighter incident commanders. First responder activity was
observed and over twenty interviews in three countries were
accomplished. Methods and technologies were reviewed for
information model development, command and control solutions,
sensors integration, communication, and decision support.
The third milestone “Scenario descriptions from
a user perspective“ was also achieved during the second period.
The document describes the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
which are used in the evaluation of COPE technologies. In the
same document also the human factors informed requirements for
the test scenario are presented. Two leading ideas were
developed. First, it is maintained that the evaluation has two
forms, verification and validation. The distinction between them
is important because the focus of evaluation differs depending
on which one is in question. Verification focuses on controlling
the fulfilment of the set of requirements for the designed
applications. In contrast to this, validation is more synthetic
in nature. It is focused on evaluating the added value of the
COPE technologies to the emergency response activity as such.
Thus validation is based on comprehensive analysis of the first
responder activity during the final tests. Validation has an
integrative character and considers first responder behaviour
from a context-dependent point of view. The second theoretical
idea proposed in the deliverable is the set of systems usability
metrics which identifies different types of indicators.
The goal of the technology mapping work package
was to align the user requirements with the technology solutions
by brokering and technology mapping; to define the system
architecture for technology solutions, and to develop user
driven scenarios as well as defining the key performance
indicators. The technology mapping process is a continuous one
of analysis of interim findings from the human factors and the
technology work, and consultation between end-users and
technology developers as potential solutions are tested and
evaluated. In the technology solutions work package, a systems
integration task brings together the outputs of the other tasks
addressing the areas of command and control, sensors,
communication, decision support and first responder solutions.
The final solutions will be trialled and evaluated in realistic
scenarios with end users.
The first COPE design study trials were
successfully carried out in the facilities of the Emergency
Response Centre (ESC) in Kuopio (Finland, May 2009) and later in
the premises of IGSU in Bucharest (Romania, February 2010).
4: COPE trial in ESC premises in May 2010
(Click to enlarge)
In May 2010 a user
demostration and a technology integration study was carried out
in Kuopio ESC training grounds. In the tests the developed
technolgies worked as intended and a large amount of data was
collected about the usage of the systems. Many operational
enhancement needs were identified and during the summer of 2010
these were implemented by the technology developers.
5: COPE system of systems (Click to enlarge)
A final demostration of
COPE system of systems was carried out in Kuopio Emergency
Services College training grounds on September 23rd 2010. In the
trial various COPE technologies to support common operational
picture exploitation were demostrated. The results from the
demostration are reported in COPE
COPE uses the Tactical Situation Object (TSO,
http://www.tacticalsituationobject.org/) for exchanging
information and the data used in the system is defined in the COPE Data Dictionary