The KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence (CoE) has recently joined forces with Cyprus Civil Defence (CCD), in the framework of the project entitled “LEAPFROG” (Leading Activities for Enrolment of RPAS Units in the Voluntary Pool). This project aims at introducing RPAS modules (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) to the voluntary pool of response capacities to requesting EU Member States.
Currently, traditional means of situational/needs assessment provided by experts on the ground are inherently time consuming, and entailed high capital and operational expenditure. In most cases, access to disaster affected regions might be too dangerous to humans altogether. Undoubtedly, RPAS units can be of great help under these situations since they can offer a plethora of functionalities that are valuable for the breadth of the operation cycle of emergency response units.
“LEAPFROG” envisions to become the first buffering capacity activity to:
- Coordinate the development of standard operating procedures for deployment of RPAS units across Europe during and in the aftermath of disasters, addressing regulatory, technical and organisational aspects.
- Establish a common training structure for competency and capacity building of RPAS operators and pilots.
- Conduct relevant exercises to build skills and confidence in operating under different scenarios.
- Introduce RPAS modules to the voluntary pool.
The project has received funding from the European Union’s 2018 Call for proposals for buffer capacities for addressing temporary shortcomings in extraordinary disasters under grand agreement DG ECHO LEAPFROG GA-782233 and comprises of the Cyprus Civil Defence as the Coordinator, of the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence as the Technical Partner, the Regione Autonoma Della Sardegna (RAS), Italy, as well as the Communication and Information Systems Directorate, Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria, as Partners.
Project website: https://www.kios.ucy.ac.cy/leapfrog/