The European Union has teamed the French mobile company Swapcom in order to develop a project called MARIUS. This project is already a reality, and will allow emergency crews to broadcast SMS (Short Message Service) to all the electronic devices of an area in order to coordinate help and rescue services in an emergency situation. Even if the local network is not working, thes system will allow the SMS broadcasted from the helicopter to be received in the designated area.
But this project is not something to come. It has already been successfully tested and will be launched in Valencia, in July 2007, during the celebration of the Louis Vuiton's 2007 America's Cup Finals.
The biggest innovation in this project is the simultaneous utilisation of the following elements in a potential emergency situation:
-- An airbone segment equipped with EO/IR sensor, GSM detection & location sensor, SMS broadcast capability, a data link to the ground station and a radio system
-- A mobile crisis management system
-- The ground sensors (cameras) and their specific data link
-- A micro-drone to demonstrate airbone surveillance functions in case of disaster
-- The deployable wireless communications network
The French company Swapcom has been chosen by the European Commission because of their high level of technology development, and their specialised skills in the use of that technology.
I am sure after July 2007, this technology already tested and proved successful will spread out to many countries and areas so whenever an emergency situation happens, citizens will be able to receive SMS in their mobile devices in order to coordinate rescue and help.