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Press invitation: Field test for new rescue drones and digital information systems

Press invitation: Field test for new rescue drones and digital information systems
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Project information – European Research Area (ERA)

Search and rescue operations in disaster zones: Field test for new rescue drones and digital information systems

On Wednesday, 30 March 2022, a test run for new technological solutions to enhance the safety and operational effectiveness of Urban Search & Rescue missions will take place on the THW premises of the Wesel regional office within the framework of the European research project CURSOR (Coordinated Use of miniaturised Robotic equipment and advanced Sensors for search and rescue OpeRations). Here, different components (drones, robots, geophones, information technologies) are being integrated to reduce time for detection and rescue of victims in collapsed buildings whilst increasing the personal safety of the SaR teams.

For the first time in the European Research Area, these different components of digital rescue technology are brought together and tested as a unified system. CURSOR is funded by the European Union with a total of 7 million euros. On Wednesday, the interaction of drones, geophones and command and control systems will be tested using two scenarios based on the standard INSARAG methodology. The aim is to prioritise the specific search tasks and develop an operational plan in a command center based on the data on missing persons collected by the CURSOR system, as well as to carry out a search and rescue operation quickly and efficiently. The disaster scenario is simulated with real people as well as dummies in a realistic rubble environment.

Schedule for journalists:

13:30 – 14:00 hrs: Press briefing through project coordinator Tiina Ristmäe (THW)

14:00 – 16:00 hrs: Training and field test: The command centre will control the search for missing persons via drones and geophones. First, based on the information gathered by the drones, geophones and communication systems, an action plan will be developed in the command centre including specific and viable live rescue sites. Then, based on this plan and the concrete search tasks, a search and rescue operation is simulated. It is possible to accompany the task forces and technical partners across the test site as well as to conduct short interviews.

Potential interviewees:

Tiina Ristmäe, Project coordinator, THW

Steve Gadson, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, test director, CURSOR project partner and part of the National Resilience USaR assurance team in the UK.

Dimitra Dionysiou, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, (ICCS), National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Technical and Scientific Coordinator for CURSOR, responsible for the system integration activities within the project

Contact on site:

Tiina Ristmäe, Project coordinator, THW

Karin Rosenits-Seilmeier, Communications, ARTTIC Innovation


Wesel (The exact venue will be communicated after accreditation.)

The CURSOR Project

17 organisations from eight countries are working together in the CURSOR project under the leadership of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) to develop a system of different technologies that will make locating missing persons easier, more connected and safer. The responsible partners are working together across national borders to advance disaster relief in all countries. The project's funds come from both Europe and Asia. It is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (GA No. 832790).

Please find below the link to a video to get an overview on the project:

Further information:

The European Research Area:

Like the European Single Market, the European Research Area creates freedoms: freedom of movement for researchers to work in other countries and the possibility to freely exchange scientific knowledge and technologies. The goal of the European Research Area, or ERA for short, is to make the research systems in the Member States future-proof, to pool resources and to offer researchers in Europe good framework conditions. After all, outstanding research and science is also an important factor in ensuring that the EU can hold its own in global competition. Shaping the ERA is a joint task of the European Union and its Member States (Art. 179 TFEU).

Contact for press and media requests for the European Research Area:

Josefin Heddrich


Communications Agency


Contact for CURSOR project management and communication:

Karin Rosenits-Seilmeier

ARTTIC Innovation GmbH

0049-89 248 83 03-42


Journalists, who would like to accompany this field test have to be fully vaccinated or provide the Covid-19 recovery certificate AND provide a negative Covid-19 test (rapid test) upon arrival. Also, masks (FFP2 or chirugical) are mandatory for all indoor activities.

When entering the testing area, the usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) is required (minimum requirements are helmets and protective footwear (safety shoes or sturdy hiking boots can be accepted). Without PPE the participation in the test is not possible. Helmets can only be provided at a limited amount therefore we advise to bring your own protective helmet.

As we have to report on communication activities due to the funding of this project by the European Commission, please send a receipt of your publication to Thank you very much!

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 832790 and from the Japan Science and Technology Agency.

ARTTIC Innovation GmbH has been advising research and innovation projects for more than 33 years. As project management and communication partner, we make sure that our projects run successfully and that project results and events are disseminated in the best possible way. ARTTIC is a subsidiary of the PNO Group, one of the largest consultancies for publicly funded projects in research and development. For more information, please visit

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